WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

Embarrassing Bodies, 12:10am Tuesday 3rd March 2015 on More 4. Catch up for free on 4oD »

Conditions

Sebaceous Cyst

You’re nothing special – most people will get an epidermoid cyst at some point in their life but these smooth round lumps, commonly found on the scalp, neck, face, chest and upper back can often, quite understandably, cause alarm. Epidermoid cysts most commonly affect people in their 20s and 30s and are twice as likely on men – in fact the scrotum is a further common place for them to occur. The size of these lumps can vary from that of a small pea to a few centimetres wide and some may slowly grow over a few months. If punctured a toothpaste or cheese type fluid will sometimes seep from the cyst. Epidermoid cysts are not cancerous. Most of the time, if the cyst isn’t bothering you they can be left untouched however a number of reasons stipulate that some people may get them removed: if the cyst is particularly large or in an obvious place and therefore causing cosmetic dissatisfaction; if the cyst becomes infected or if the cyst is in a place where it is likely to become ‘traumatized’ such as the scalp which through frequent contact with a comb could become irritated. Removal is by way of a simple surgical procedure with a local anesthetic.

Comments and Questions

You can share your experiences and thoughts with other Embarrassing Bodies site-users below. Comments & Questions are reviewed by moderators, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

Ive had what i recently learned was a sebaceous cyst on the underside of my circumcision ring (where there were 2 tiny holes obviously left from the skin healing around the stitches as a baby) for about 19 years. It grew to the size of a grain of rice long ago and never bothered me much. The other day after having a rather rigorous sex session, it started aching pretty bad and appeared to be oozing what looked like pus. I decided to keep it clean for a couple of days and see what happened. It would swell and i would squeeze out more pus and clean it. Finally today if figured i would get ready to go to the doctor tomorrow but first i would make a poultice with epsom salts. 10 hours later i remembered the epsom salts were still on my penis. I went in the bathroom and removed the poultice only to find what at first glance looked like more pus, but upon further investigation, this time it was firm and waxy. I wiped it away with a Q tip and more took its place. I squeezed the small rice shaped sac and a heap of waxy white substance came out! The growth i had lived with for 18 years is finally out! There still feels like somethings in there though it may just be scarring. Ive applied more epsom salts and will check it again tomorrow.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I had a sebaceous cyst cut out of the back of my neck by a general surgeon in his office. I just got my stitches removed after 2 weeks and the back of my neck looks awful now. It is a 5inch huge scar with multiple bumps all over it. What can I do about it? Thanks





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi! I'm 14 and I recently got told I have a sebaceous cyst in the top centre of my chest. It has started to get a bit bigger over the past couple of weeks and people are pointing it out as you can see it when I am wearing my school uniformm, I've had the cyst for about a year but only recently began to grow. Is there any advice to get it not so obvious because I don't want to get it cut out which my doctor told me I could have done, I don't really want scars there. Thanks!





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I had an epidermal cyst removed 9 months ago, and now I can feel another pea sized lump under the skin in the same place that I had the first one removed. Do epidermal cysts recur? and if so why does this happen? What is the cause of them? Would I have to have the lump removed? If it does need removing can they operate in the same place? will I be left with a ad scar?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

i have been suffering subaceous cysts on my my scrotom for the past 4 years since i was 16,everyday i struggle to get on with my life and things i need to do due to the fact that it effect's my self esteem and confidence with just about everthing because it's always on my mind, i really would like to get the problem resolved as soon as possible, i have not had been in a relationship with someone since it started because its so embarressing, i have been to see skin specialist about my condition and the perscribed my medication that i have to take once a day, nothing is changing and im starting to lose hope, its not just 1 or 2 cysts on my scrotom i literally couldnt count the amount of cysts i have, i would really appericate if someone could give me good advice on what i should do because i'm fed up and dont know if i can keep going on like this i'm only 20 years old and have otherthings to worry about in my life, it's begining to cause me depression and getting angry when i shoulnt be because of my condition, it makes me so upset everyday. If anyone could help me please do so, or if you have had the same as me before and are now cured please let me know what i should do.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

i've got this hard bump/lump in my right nostril, at first it didnt really bother me( but now about 1yr pushing 2 maybe) it hurts wen i move my nose, move my nostril, touch it, pretty much anything..... i've tried my best to ignore it till now, its just a hassle now:/ i can also feel summin futher up my right nostril(feels like my insides got another 1 futher up or maybe sum scabbing) but does any1 know wat the lump could be? im going to goto the docs asap





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi, I'm 19 and for the passed few months I have noticed a pea size lump on my v-lip which is hard as a rock and soooo painful! It was till my boyfriend looked in horror at it that I got worried. Any ideas what it could be? Thanks





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Iv have a sebaceous cyst cut out yesterday on my head, iv got 3 stiches, the cyst come out whole like a big nut,but today iv got up with lots of pain in my head and in the back of my neck, it that nomal?? thank you very much...





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I have a sebaceous cyst on the left middle of my back which is badly infected. I have recently been experiencing sharp stabbing pains in my chest directly in front of the cyst. Is there likely to be any connection? The pain is almost constant now.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I used to get those a few times a year! I didnt even have to see them to know i had one! There would be a sharp pain in my chest and i would tell my girlfriend to look at my back. Sure enough 100% of the time she would find one! When she popped the head on them and squeezed out the insides, the pain in my chest would immediately go away!

Hi I'm 45 and in may 2014 I started forming a hard lump on my chin, It got golf ball size with n days,I was so and still upset cause I wouldn't go in public and ended up not going to my daughters graduation,plus the fact she left for college the next day,,,well I went to doctors few days later he tried to drain but couldn't so he referred me to a plastic surgeon, well he said I had to have it removed surgically so within few days had removed, well my nightmare started, I ended being allergic to the sutures so he had to do another surgery to remove them and put non disolveable ones in and those sutures didnt hold up and coming out cause he didn't remove all of the sutures from first surgery he put me on bactrum onitment and antiboics well my chin started having an infection now all this time my chin has a huge whole and wouldnt heal I was so upset when i had tobgo to his office because he would call me the clone of Jay Leno (no offence cause I like Leno) but to have doctor make fun of your medical issue when he is the one who is suppose to be the medical professional and help treat he just made me spiral into deeper depression. I didn't think he knew what he was doing so went to a different plastic surgeon and he ended up cut open to clean out infection in the office same day and reclosed incision well chin wasn't having it,those sutures started opening again so he recleaned infection and put on different antibiotics. He took stitches out and incision opened up again he took swab and came back with staph infection he decided to let chin close on own, its been 8 mths 2weeks to the day and incision still wide open I don't go out much cause way people stare at me never mind the stock I have gone threw of BAND-AIDS its so embarrassing, well now found out yesterday the staph infection is so out of control the only way is to treat is go under again but this time he is having an IV pic line put in 3 days prior to surgery which is scheduled in two weeks and I'm going to have to be on iv meds for 10 days after surgery,my chin hurts and burns so bad at this point I don't no wat else to do this cyst has caused me to go into hiding ,,I don't go anywhere trapped in my house I don't eat cause infection is on my jaw bone now hurts to open and close.. I have lost 46lbs in the past 8mths, if I do go out I make sure its like 3 or 4 in the morning so I don't get all the looks,,,I hate the fact I literally have a whole visual enough that it scares me when I look in the mirror.. I just dont no what else to do i want this Freaking Nightmare to be over with and get my life back...my husband of 16 yrs I'm thankful for sticking around cause I don't think I could go threw all the emotional trauma I have put him through..





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.



Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.



Please don't swear or be rude in your questions, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting questions. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here


More Information

  1. Consultation: Second Adult Circumcision

    In Videos - Dr Jessen examines a patient in need of a new circumcision

  2. James Russell

    Doctor Info - Find out more about James Russell.

  3. Dr Priya Manickavasagar

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Priya.

  4. Consultation: Soreness on the Penis

    In Videos - A patient is examined for soreness around his penis

  5. Dr Christian Jessen

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Christian

  6. Dr Dawn Harper

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Dawn.

  7. Dr Pixie McKenna

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Pixie.

  8. Doctor Responses: Vaginal Discharge

    In Videos - Dr Pixie answers your most frequently asked questions about vaginal…

  9. We're Coming to Get You!

    In Episodes - The Docs are back, and this time they're coming to get you!

  10. In Detail: Urethral Reconstruction

    In Videos - An in detail look at an operation to reconstruct a man's urethra.

  11. Consultation: Acne Scarring

    In Videos - A patient comes to see Dr Harper about treatment for the scarring c…

  12. Consultation: Acne Keloidalis

    In Videos - A patient receives treatment for the disfiguring condition Acne Kel…

  13. How To Check Your Testicles

    In Videos - Dr Harper's guide to how to self-check your balls against testicula…

  14. Consultation: Ichthyosis

    In Videos - Dr Harper treats a women for the skin condition Ichthyosis, with am…

  15. Consultation: Breast Reconstruction

    In Videos - Dr Jessen treats a breasts cancer survivor who wants to receive an…


Help Beat Cancer

Download our free mobile game to help Reverse The Odds in the fight against cancer.

Available on App Store, Google Play and Amazon App Store >