What Causes Sebaceous Cysts On Back? How To Treat Infected Cysts?

A sebaceous cyst is a small, painless bump that appears beneath the skin. While these lumps can occur anywhere, it is more common to find a sebaceous cyst on the back, neck, face and trunk. They do not really require any treatment, unless they rupture or get infected. These cysts can be easily treated at home, using simple remedies.

Sebaceous cysts arise from the glands that secrete oily matter to lubricate your skin and hair. These sebum producing glands are known as sebaceous glands.

Given below are some of the most common sebaceous cyst causes.

  • Damage to the hair follicle: Injuries such as surgical wounds and abrasions cause the surface cells to block your hair follicle. This in turn could lead to the formation of a sebaceous cyst.
  • Ruptured sebaceous glands: Factors like acne and other types of inflammatory skin conditions cause the sebaceous glands to get ruptured, thereby leading to the development of a cyst on the skin.
  • Developmental defects: In some cases, a sebaceous cyst may develop right in the fetus, when the stem cells get trapped in those cells that are forming other tissues.
  • Genetic problems: At times, sebaceous cysts may run in the family. People suffering from Gardner’s syndrome, a rare genetic disorder may also have the tendency to develop sebaceous cysts.

Signs And Symptoms Of Sebaceous Cysts

It is not difficult to recognize a sebaceous cyst; it is a small, round bump that can be easily moved with the fingers. These bumps are whitish or yellowish in color, but in dark-skinned people, the cysts tend to be pigmented. The size of a sebaceous cyst can range between ¼ of an inch and 2 inches.

Squeezing of a sebaceous cyst should be strongly discouraged as it could lead to an infection.

Some of the signs and symptoms of an infected sebaceous cyst include:

  • Thick, yellow substance oozing from the cyst which has a foul odor.
  • Swelling, tenderness and redness around the cyst with pain.

How To Treat Infected Sebaceous Cysts?

Your doctor may advise you to leave your cyst alone, if it does not cause any functional problems. You could use a few simple and natural remedies to help the cyst drain and heal faster. These include:

  • Hot compresses
  • Topical lotions with Aloe Vera gel
  • Clay mask
  • Tea tree oil
  • Orange oil
  • Goldenseal oil

However, in case the cyst gets infected, inflamed or ruptured your doctor may advise you to undergo certain treatment options like:

  • Corticosteroids or triamcinolone acetonide injections.
  • Incision and drainage procedures.
  • Minimal excision where a tiny incision is made to remove the cyst wall and its contents.
  • Total excision, where the entire cyst is removed to prevent recurrence.
  • Laser technique, where carbon dioxide laser is used to vaporize the cyst.

While the home remedies mentioned above are quite safe if used correctly, it is best to check with a doctor before trying any of them.

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