Cysts and lipoma

Sebaceous cysts and lipomas are benign neoformations; the presence of one or the other is identified through the differential diagnosis carried out by the surgeon, who immediately recognizes the characteristics through visual evaluation and manual palpation.

What is a cyst

A sebaceous cyst is a benign subcutaneous neoformation, due to the occlusion of a sebaceous gland. It can develop anywhere, because the sebaceous glands are all over our body, but it occurs most frequently on the scalp, neck, back and behind the ears.

The cyst initially appears as a small, indolent nodule under the skin, which can however increase in size until it reaches 3-4 cm.

Squeezing the cyst by hand often causes a yellowish, foul-smelling material to come out, consisting of fat and skin cell debris. This is a practice to be avoided, as it can lead to the penetration of germs and a consequent infection, a situation in which the cyst rapidly increases in volume and causes pain.

What is a lipoma

Lipomas are benign tumors that arise from the patient’s fatty tissue (hence their name, which derives from the Greek lipos, meaning fat).
They appear as lumps under the skin, usually painless, and can be found on any part of the body, although the most common areas are shoulders, neck, chest, back, arms and thighs.
The dimensions vary – from one centimeter to over 10cm – and although their growth is rather slow, lipomas not only create aesthetic embarrassment, but sometimes also functional problems. In fact, when they arise in areas such as the buttocks and back, their compression can create discomfort and pain.
On some occasions, multiple lipomas are found in various parts of the body.

In the case of large lipomas, an ultrasound may be necessary to fully understand the relationships with the underlying structures, in particular the muscle bands, in order to better plan any surgical removal.

Treatment of cysts and lipoma

The only treatment of sebaceous cyst and lipoma is surgical removal, which is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia.
The important thing is to minimize scarring, which requires the presence of an experienced surgeon.

Cysts and lipomas are removed following an incision, and must be eradicated carefully in order to avoid recurrences.
In case of a cyst, if it has already suppurated, the operation should be postponed until the infection has cleared.

Scars following cyst and lipoma removal

Any scarring can still be attenuated later, thanks to the Fraxel laser and other ablative procedures. If the removal of a cyst or large lipoma has instead left a hollow, the targeted use of fillers or, even better, of one’s own autologous fat (Lipogems®) is almost always resolutive.

In summary

For whom it is appropriate

The removal of sebaceous cysts and lipomas is recommended in any case, because, although they are generally benign neoformations, they can swell and create other problems, beyond the aesthetic discomfort. This is even more relevant if they are in areas prone to compression and rubbing. In particular, sebaceous cysts can become inflamed and painful.


Any age according to the specialist’s indications.


Depending on the cyst or lipoma to be treated.


CO2 laser or surgical removal.

Recommended post-operative treatments

Any small scars can be attenuated, sometimes completely erased, with the Fraxel laser and/or hyaluronic acid-based fillers.


Image team led by Prof. Carlo Tremolada performs sebaceous cyst and lipoma removal in Milan.


It is possible to view before and after photos of sebaceous cyst and lipoma removal by laser or surgery at Image Regenerative Clinic.


View the prices page, or fill out the form to request information about cysts & lipoma and the cost of their removal.

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