Cyst – Sebaceous – Epidermoid Cysts - Cyst Removal in Northern Virginia*

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Cyst – Sebaceous Overview

One variety of common cysts is the sebaceous cyst, which is noncancerous and usually painless, causing no harmful side effects. They can appear as small bumps under the skin virtually anywhere on the body but are usually found on the face, neck, and trunk. Although sebaceous cysts are often referred to as epidermoid cysts, there are some differences. In fact, sebaceous cysts are rarer and are caused by glands that secrete oil, which lubricate the skin and hair. Although normally painless, Ashburn, VA cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Timothy Mountcastle, can remove cysts that are not only cosmetically unappealing, but those that are painful, infected, or ruptured.

Cyst – Sebaceous Surgical Technique

There are several treatment options to treat and remove sebaceous cysts. The surgeon can inject the cyst with a medication to alleviate swelling and inflammation. Other times, cysts can be treated with incision and drainage. In this technique, a small incision will be made in the cyst before the doctor gently squeezes out the cyst’s contents. While the treatment is effective in the short-term, cysts can reoccur.

Sebaceous cysts can be surgically removed where they will be cut out using a scalpel. Bordering skin may also be removed in the process. The wound will be sutured closed following the surgery. This is usually the most effective way in preventing the cyst from reoccurring. Laser treatments are also used to vaporize the cyst to prevent it from coming back.

Cyst – Sebaceous During/After Surgery

All surgical treatments are usually considered outpatient surgery and are usually performed in the office. Local anesthesia can be used to numb the area prior to surgical excision. The procedure can last around 30 minutes, but it can vary from patient to patient. Since an incision is made into the skin, it’s likely that some scarring is possible. Therefore, it’s important to follow aftercare instructions to minimize the appearance of scarring. Usually after cyst removal, the cyst shouldn’t return in the future.

Sebaceous Cyst FAQs

What are the causes?

Sebaceous cysts are caused by the sebaceous glands, which secrete an oil that lubricates the hair and skin. On the other hand, epidermoid cysts are formed by an abnormal growth of skin cells, which can be caused by the skin’s damaged hair follicles or oil glands.


What are the risk factors?

  • History of acne
  • Past puberty
  • Injury to the skin
  • Have certain rare genetic disorders


Does insurance cover cost?

Yes. Insurance always covers the cost of a cyst removal. 

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* All information subject to change. All gallery images contain real patients and are the property of Mountcastle Plastic Surgery & Vein Institute. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.