What is the best way to cure an "open" infected sebaceous cyst?
Answers: A sebaceous, or epidermal, cyst is a small, movable lump under the skin. It forms when surface skin cells move deeper into the skin and multiply. These cells form the wall of the cyst and secrete a soft, yellowish substance called keratin, which fills the cyst. If the wall of the cyst is ruptured, the keratin is discharged into the surrounding skin, which causes irritation and inflammation.
The cyst may remain small for years, or it may continue to get larger. These cysts are rare in children but common in adults. Sebaceous cysts are not cancerous.
A cyst is a movable, dome-shaped, smooth-surfaced mass that varies in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters (from less than a quarter of an inch to more than 2 inches. Sebaceous cysts appear mainly on the face, ears, chest and back, but they can occur on almost any skin surface.
Your doctor can examine the swelling and tell you if you have a cyst.
A cyst may disappear on its own or remain indefinitely.
There is no way to prevent sebaceous cysts.
A sebaceous cyst usually does not need to be treated unless it is infected or is causing a cosmetic problem. Infected cysts usually are treated by draining the fluid and removing the shell that make up the cyst wall. You also may be treated with antibiotics if the skin around the cyst is also infected. If a cyst is causing irritation or cosmetic difficulty, your physician can remove it by making a small incision in the skin and emptying the contents of the cyst and its wall.
When To Call A Professional
If you have a new swelling on your skin that lasts for more than two weeks, contact your doctor, especially if it is painful.
The outlook for sebaceous cysts is excellent. Many cysts have no symptoms and some will go away on their own. Cysts can return. Draining cysts or removing them surgically usually does not lead to any complications or side effects.
Home treatment for a sebaceous cyst
Home treatment for a lump on the scrotal skin, such as a sebaceous (epidermal) cyst, may relieve symptoms but may not make the cyst go away. A sebaceous cyst is a sac filled with a cheeselike, greasy material (sebum) caused by plugged ducts at the site of a hair follicle. Sebaceous cysts most often appear on the scalp, ears, face, back, or scrotum. Hormone stimulation or injury may cause them to enlarge or become infected.
Signs and symptoms include a bump or lump under the skin that is:
* Firm and easily moveable.
* Yellow, white, or flesh-colored. It can turn bright red if injured or infected.
* Painless (but can be painful if injured or infected).
* 1 in. (2.5 cm) or smaller to 4 in. (10.2 cm).
To treat a lump that may be caused by infection under the skin:
* Do not squeeze, scratch, drain, open (lance), or puncture the lump. Doing this can irritate or inflame the lump, push any existing infection deeper into the skin, or cause severe bleeding.
* Keep the area clean by washing the lump and surrounding skin well with an antibacterial soap.
* Apply warm, wet washcloths to the lump for 20 to 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day. If you prefer, you can also use a hot water bottle or heating pad over a damp towel. The heat and moisture can soothe the lump, increase blood circulation to the area, and speed healing. It can also bring a lump caused by infection to a head (but it may take 5 to 7 days). Be careful not to burn your skin. Do not use water that is warmer than bath water.
* If the lump begins to drain pus, apply a bandage to keep the draining material from spreading. Change the bandage daily. If a large amount of pus drains from the lump, or the lump becomes more red or painful, evaluation by a health professional may be needed.
Antibiotics. You need to see your doctor. They could also drain it, clean it out or remove the whole thing. Then you won't have to worry about it anymore. My brother-in-law had a sebaceous cyst removed. No problems.
Antibiotics. Then, if it is large, have it removed. Sometimes these things keep coming back.
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