Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What should I do about my sebaceous cysts?"
I have a pair of sebaceous cysts on my back and had them looked at by my doctor. He said they are nothing to worry about, but I don't know. How long will they be there? If I have them now does that mean I'll get more as I age?
Sebaceous cysts are a very common type of cyst that can be found anywhere under the skin but do commonly occur on the back and on the neck. They consist of a sac of connective tissue that contains a thick, almost cheese-like material inside of them. Sebaceous cysts are totally benign, meaning that they do not turn into cancer. However, they can sometimes periodically become inflamed or infected, causing them to swell up, become red and painful, and occasionally leak material to the surface of the skin. Also, they do not go away unless they are surgically removed. If the cysts are small and have never become infected, then as your doctor said there is no need to worry or do anything about them in most cases. However, if the cysts become large, inflamed, or otherwise frequently infected, you should discuss the issue again with your doctor, because in this case they may need to be surgically removed. Fortunately, if you do need to have the cysts removed, this is usually a very simple procedure that can be done in a few minutes in the office with just some local numbing medicine injected into the skin. Please talk to your primary doctor for a full evaluation!
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