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Sebaceous cyst

  • Alternative Names

    Epidermal cyst; Keratin cyst; Epidermoid cyst


    Sebaceous cysts are not dangerous and can usually be ignored. Placing a warm moist cloth (compress) over the area may help the cyst drain and heal.

    If you have a small inflamed cyst, your doctor may inject it with a steroid medicine that reduces swelling.

    If the cyst becomes swollen, tender, or large, your doctor may drain it or perform surgery to remove it.

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    Expectations (prognosis)

    Large, painful cysts may interfere with day-to-day life.


    These cysts may occasionally become infected and form painful abscesses.

    The cysts may return after they are surgically removed.

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you notice any new growths on your body. Although cysts are not dangerous, your doctor should examine you for signs of skin cancer.