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Identifying and Treating Acne and Sebaceous Cysts

Acne and cysts can be uncomfortable, painful and sometimes embarrassing. Fortunately, treatments are available to help reduce acne from forming and developing into a cyst and the removal of cysts if necessary. Dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can provide treatment options and preventative care for both acne and cysts so you can be comfortable in your own skin again.


What is a Sebaceous Cyst?

A sebaceous cyst is a common noncancerous cyst mostly found on the face, neck or torso. Sebaceous cysts grow slowly and while they’re uncomfortable, they are not life-threating. These cysts form out of the sebaceous gland, which is responsible for the production of the oil that coats your hair and skin. If the gland becomes damaged or blocked, a cyst could begin to form. The gland can become damaged due to acne. Acne is developed when the sebaceous gland is over-stimulated causing the glands to produce extra oils and excess skin cells. Since acne is a disorder of the sebaceous glands, cysts and acne often go hand-in-hand together. In most cases, the acne will have occurred weeks or months prior to you even noticing the cyst.

Since acne is a common occurrence in males and females of all ages, there is a good possibility of many people developing a cyst from their acne. Acne is not the only cause of a sebaceous cyst though. A deformed duct, damage to cells during surgery or genetics can be a cause. Dermatologists have treatment and removal options that can be tailored to the results you want to see based on the size, location and pain of the cyst.


Sebaceous Cyst Symptoms, Treatment and Removal

A small sebaceous cyst usually is not painful, but a large one, depending on its location, can become uncomfortable and painful. When being diagnosed, a doctor will often conduct a physical exam, a CT scan, an ultrasound and a punch biopsy to help test for any potential cancer.

Treatment of a sebaceous cyst can include draining it or surgical removal. Most people have them removed for cosmetic reasons and because if they are not removed, they likely will come back. One drawback of surgical cyst removal for patients though is that it can leave behind a scar. If a scar is left behind it is likely that a conventional wide excision was performed. Minimal excision is another removal option. It won’t leave a scar like a conventional wide excision, but you run the risk of the cyst returning. When a punch biopsy is performed a laser is used to drain the cyst while also testing it for cancer.

If you are determining which treatment option is right for you, take into consideration the location of the cyst. The pain you are or are not experiencing and if you think the cyst could be cancerous or not. This will help you determine which removal route is best.

If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or surrounding areas and suffer from acne and/or sebaceous cysts, contact us. A dermatologist at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute look forward to helping remove your cyst and provide treatment for your acne.

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