best epidermal cystic removal in singapore

Sebaceous Cyst Removal

Sebaceous cyst or epidermoid cyst are common skin lesions

It’s important to seek help if your cyst is painful, enlarging or infected.

sebaceous cyst removal surgery
The capsule is part of the sebaceous cyst

what is a Sebaceous Cyst?

Sebaceous cyst are very common lumps that develop underneath the skin. They are harmless in most cases, but can get infected and inflammed under certain conditions. Cyst removal surgery to remove the capsule and the cystic contents is curative. Punch excision is a excellent technique to remove the cyst leaving smaller scars and faster healing times.


sebaceous cyst

Sebaceous cysts, also known as epidermoid or keratin cysts, are non-cancerous bumps beneath the skin that result from blocked sebaceous glands. These cysts are typically slow-growing, painless, and can appear on various parts of the body, including the face, neck, and torso. While sebaceous cysts are generally harmless, many patients seek removal due to discomfort, potential for infection, or cosmetic concerns.

As a medical professional, we are dedicated to providing effective and safe treatments for the removal of sebaceous cysts. Our goal is to ensure patient comfort and achieve optimal aesthetic results.

How does a Sebaceous Cyst form?

The Sebaceous Cyst (aka epidermoid cyst, epidermoid inclusion cyst, infundibular cyst) is one the most common skin cyst seen in our daily practice. It commonly occurs on the face, scalp, body but can grow just about anywhere. Although twice in common in men, the sebaceous cyst tends to be more apparent as we get older. It is a harmless skin cyst, and does not have a risk of cancer transformation. Cyst removal surgery is the definitive way of removing the capsule and its contents completely.

The sebaceous cyst develops as the result of the elements of the epidermis (the top layer of the skin) growing within the dermis (the deeper layer of the skin). There are several reasons why a sebaceous cyst develops, but the exact mechanism remains unknown. Blocked pores, skin injury, infection and even sun exposure are cited a potential factors contributing to cyst formation.

You know that you have a sebaceous cyst when you feel a lump underneath your skin, and see an opening (technically called a punctum). This opening looks like a black dot, and you may even express cheesy smelly substance if you press onto your cyst. This is because the cyst is encased in a sac that is lined by skin cells actively producing macerated keratin (wet skin cells).

sebaceous cyst punctum
Punctum (black dot) is seen at the top of the cyst

what does a Sebaceous Cyst look like?

You know that you have a sebaceous cyst when you feel a lump underneath your skin, and see an opening (technically called a punctum). This opening looks like a black dot, and you may even express cheesy smelly substance if you press onto your cyst. This is because the cyst is encased in a sac that is lined by skin cells actively producing macerated keratin (wet skin cells).

When infected, the skin overlying the skin can turn red, feel hot and tender. In later stages of infection, pus and blood may ooze out from the skin.

what is Steatocystoma Multiplex?

Steatocystoma Multiplex is considered a rare skin condition. In affected individuals, multiple cysts start appearing during the adolescent stage. While the condition may run in families, it may also occur out of nowhere. It is suspected that the condition arises due to a genetic mutation in a gene controlling certain skin elements. 

The size of individual cysts in affected individuals with steatocystoma multiplex may range from 3mm to over 3cm. These skin cysts can number from a dozen to almost a hundred, and are commonly distributed on the face, chest, back and arms.

While this condition is benign, most individuals may prefer removal of some cyst in cosmetically apparent areas such as the face. A modified incisional technique to remove the cysts that we have developed leads to  better cosmetic effect, faster healing times and with minimal chance of recurrence. Learn more here.

infected epidermal cyst
Infected sebaceous cyst

Know when to seek Help

While most cyst can be left alone as it is harmless. On occasion the cyst may rupture or get inflammed resulting in pain, swelling, redness and even pus formation. When this happens, there is inflammation to the surrounding skin, and this causes great disomfort. You need to see a doctor when your cyst becomes painful because you may need treatment in the form of either oral antibiotics, or a surgical drainage if there is lots of pus.

sebaceous Cyst Removal Surgery

As the sebaceous cyst resides deeper into the skin, lined by a sac of skin cells, taking antibiotics and regular pressing of the cyst contents are not curative. Cyst removal surgery is the preferred method to remove the cystic contents, the cystic sac and the overlying punctum. Most cyst removal surgery can be done under local anaesthesia. The overlying skin and cyst are carefully removed, ensuring that no fragments are left behind.

A minimal excision technique for cyst removal surgery makes use of an instrument known as a punch biopsy tool. The punch biopsy tool is entered into the skin over the opening of the cyst, and subsequently the cyst contents and cystic sac are then dissected out. This procedure gives a good cosmetic outcome, a smaller scar and faster healing time.

sebaceous cyst removal surgery

Sebaceous Cyst Removal Surgery Options:

  1. Excision Biopsy – Offers the best chance of removing the cyst wall and its contents. An incision is made onto the skin and the cyst is then removed.  Specimen is sent for histological examination to confirm diagnosis and exclude malignancies.
  2. Punch Excision – A small surgical tool is inserted into the body of the cyst. The cystic contents and sac are removed through the small opening. The advantage is smaller number of sutures are needed and scars are smaller.
  3. Incision & Drainage – This is necessary when the cyst is infected and filled with pus. Healing of the infected tissues needs to take place before definitive treatment at a later date.
  4. Minimal Incision Surgery – A small incision is made to remove the cysts to avoid unsightly scars. This is only suitable for selected smaller cysts. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Sebaceous Cyst Removal

Sebaceous cysts may be removed if they become infected, inflamed, cause discomfort, are cosmetically bothersome, or if they continue to grow.

Sometimes, if the cyst is small and not causing any problems, your doctor may recommend monitoring it rather than immediate removal. However, if the cyst becomes infected, inflamed, or symptomatic, removal may be necessary.

The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic. It is a virtually painless procedure.

As with most surgical procedures, there is a risk of bleeding, infection, scarring, hair loss and recurrence. Fortunately, these are uncommon and most can be managed easily.

Most individuals heal within 1-2 weeks. Stitches are removed between 7-14 days depending on the site of surgery.

After removal of tyour sebaceous cyst, it is very important to keep the wound site clean with daily anti-septics, topical antibiotics and dressings. 

Yes, there will be a small linear scar. The appearance of the scar will improve over time. If scarring is visible, laser resurfacing can soften the appearance of your scars.

While the cyst can be removed entirely during surgery, there is a small chance of recurrence if the entire cyst wall is not removed. However, recurrence rates are generally low.

Dr Moses Ng dermatologist

cyst removal surgery

Cyst removal surgery is one of the most common procedures I undertake. When I examine an epidermal cyst for the first time, I want to check for signs of inflammation. Any redness, swelling, and pain may mean an underlying infection, and should be treated either with antibiotics or an Incision & Drainage procedure if pus is present.

schedule a consultation for sebaceous cyst removal in singapore

Our practice is dedicated to providing personalized care tailored to each patient’s needs. We utilize the latest advancements in dermatological treatments to ensure safety, comfort, and satisfaction. Whether the sebaceous cyst removal is sought for medical or cosmetic reasons, our approach focuses on achieving the best possible outcomes for our patients.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation to discuss sebaceous cyst removal, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

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  1. Suliman MT. Excision of epidermoid (sebaceous) cyst: description of the operative technique. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2005 Dec. 116(7):2042-3.
  2. Lieblich LM, Geronemus RG, Gibbs RC. Use of a biopsy punch for removal of epithelial cysts. J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1982 Dec. 8(12):1059-62.
  3. Zuber TJ. Minimal excision technique for epidermoid (sebaceous) cysts. Am Fam Physician. 2002 Apr 1. 65(7):1409-12, 1417-8, 1420.