Skin Disease

Lipoma or sebaceous cyst? All differences

It’s may look similar injuries, but what are the differences between lipoma and sebaceous cyst? In principle, although unsightly in both cases, do not usually involve major complications, but that does not mean we should ignore their appearance. Let’s see the differences, causes of emergence and the best treatment.


Lipomas and sebaceous cysts are fatty lumps that form beneath the skin, but although it may seem like two injury equal what is certain is that there are remarkable differences between the two. A lipoma is a benign tumor of adipose type, while the cyst is an accumulation of fat.

Lipomas or cysts: what they are and why do they occur?

The first difference is found in their formation. A cyst appears due to obstruction of the ducts of the glands of the skin forming fat, so hold it accumulates and appears the bulk. Meanwhile, the lipoma or tumor is formed by the overgrowth of fat cells that store fat under the skin, forming a round mass.

sebaceous cyst

Sebaceous cysts usually appear well defined, wrapped in a capsule or pouch formed by the dilation of the walls of the glands that are clogged, and since they are formed under the skin, cysts are attached to it. To prevent the outflow of sebum (which also has its function, waterproofing and lubrication of the skin), cysts are visible as black or white dots. If the blockage persists, will eventually expand and reach a size that varies according to skin types. For its part, the tumors usually appear attached to the skin, and in fact can be moved underneath.

Both as sebaceous cysts are more common in adulthood. It can appear anywhere on the body, although the cysts, for example, are more common on the face, back and chest. Suffering from acne can make more vulnerable our skin to the formation of sebaceous cysts.

Lipoma or cyst: treatment

As for treatment, there are also important differences; hence it is essential to have an accurate diagnosis. Cysts can be open to proceed to draining; even if it is removed either the capsule that surrounds may come back fairly easily. It is also important to note that cysts can become infected by contact with other germs or bacteria on the skin. If an infection occurs, the cyst can be filled with pus, that’s why it has to carve them and eradicate the risks.

On the other hand, tumors, although not usually cause discomfort or symptoms, can be removed, either for aesthetic reasons or because they are located in an area that long, it can create some problems. In fact, it is common that appear in several areas of the body. Both to remove cysts tumors as local anesthesia is used, and will only be a minimal and almost imperceptible scar. Except in one case, when a very particular type of lipoma, especially in the back, ingrown and, if not removed, can be inserted into the muscles. In this case applies general anesthesia.