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Sebaceous Cysts

Just in Time for Breakfast: All About Sebaceous Cysts

Most people don't get too disgusted by run-of-the-mill skin problems such as blackheads or cystic acne. But bring up sebaceous cysts, and things get messy. While these skin annoyances are generally harmless, they're also not so attractive — and they love to linger for months.

Sebaceous cysts usually pop up near the ears, neck, back and face, but don't mistake it for a pimple. Even though it's filled with sebum, it won't come to a head the way most blemishes do. That's because it isn't a clogged pore; instead, imagine a waxy goo-filled sac under your skin. They're two totally different things.

Although sebaceous cysts aren't a health hazard, they're unsightly — and in some cases, they can become very tender and painful. To find out how to treat them,


As I mentioned before, sebaceous cysts aren't pimples, so topical acne treatments won't do a thing. Squeezing them isn't a good idea; it's probably too painful to do so anyway, so don't put yourself through it. (Although you might technically be able to make the cyst burst, you're likely to experience major blood seepage, infection, and scarring. Not worth it.)

One option is to have a physician surgically remove the cyst, but before going down that route, try treating it at home. Run a washcloth under very hot water for a few seconds, wring out the extra water, and press the hot, damp cloth against the cyst. Repeat as necessary for five to ten minutes. By undergoing this process twice a day for a week or so, the waxy sebum inside liquifies and drains over time.

Sorry to ruin your breakfast, everyone.

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