Wondering what that tiny bump that's hiding under your skin is? Maybe it doesn’t hurt or maybe it does cause a slight stinging pain now, and it doesn’t really seem to go away? Then you are likely having a cyst. If the cyst seems to be larger, then there are high chances of infection. So what exactly is a cyst?
Skin cysts are nothing but a sac that might form in your skin that is filled with bacteria, dead skin cells, or pus. They tend to become larger when more and more skin cells or bacteria begin to get trapped as time goes by. Sebaceous cysts are one among the types of cysts, forming out of the sebaceous (oil) gland. The cyst may start out as an ingrown hair or a small acne pore but easily gets infected, creating the space for the skin to get turned in by itself. The cyst will feel like a bump or a knot on the skin and may become big enough to drain all rotten skin cells, causing it to give out a decaying smell.
If you have a sebaceous cyst, it is important that you do not pop it by yourself so that you avoid triggering any u nnecessary infection, causing the cyst to come back bigger.
Most doctors often diagnose a sebaceous cyst after a basic physical assessment. In case your cyst seems to be quite atypical, then your doctor may conduct an additional set of tests to rule out the possibilities of cancer. You will also require these tests if you want to have the cyst surgically eliminated. Sebaceous cyst excision can be done using any of the three techniques, depending of the severity of your cyst;
Conventional Wide Excision - This excision technique is used to completely remove the lump, but can leave behind a scar.
Minimal Excision - This technique is specifically done to minimise scarring that occurs after the cyst excision, but there is a good chance that the cyst might return.
Laser with Punch Biopsy Excision - In this technique, a small hole is made for draining out the cyst and its contents using a laser - after which the outer walls of the cyst will be removed after 1 month
Radiofrequency - Sebaceous cysts can also be eliminated using a technique called ‘radiofrequency ablation’, otherwise known as cold cautery. This procedure involves making a small incision using electric current and removing the contents of the cyst - after which a follow-up after 1 month is required to remove the cyst wall. This technique is minimally invasive and results in little to no scarring.
During the sebaceous cyst excision process, your doctor will mark the area and numb around the bump with a topical. You may also get an injection that will give you sting after which you will not feel the procedure. Your doctor will then eliminate the sac of skin cells or bacteria, and put a few sutures in case the cyst is larger. This suture will last for over 2 months while the skin will start to heal from the inside out.
Sebaceous cysts are usually not cancerous. Any cyst that is left untreated can turn into very large ones and will eventually need a surgical removal. When you have a complete surgical removal process, there are high chances that the cyst will not return in future. In very rare cases, you may get an infection on the excision site. Sebaceous cyst excision is exclusively designed to get rid of the cysts, most of them that are done for cosmetic concerns. While smaller cysts cause no pain or discomfort, larger cysts can be uncomfortable and sometimes cause pressure. Infected sebaceous cyst excision can also be carried out, on the off chance that you come with an inflamed and infected cyst.