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Sebaceous cysts are small lumps that arise within the skin on the face, upper back and upper chest. A sebaceous cyst can form when the opening to a sebaceous gland becomes blocked. The oily substance called sebum continues to be produced but cannot escape to the outer skin surface.

What are sebaceous cysts?

Sebaceous cysts are non-cancerous cysts of the skin. They are movable, dome-shaped, smooth-surfaced mass that varies in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters. Sebaceous cysts appear primarily on the face, upper back and upper chest.

They usually grow slowly and aren't life threatening, but they may become uncomfortable and painful if they go unchecked.

What are the causes of a sebaceous cyst?

Sebaceous gland is what produces sebum (oil) that coats our hair and skin. When the sebaceous gland or its duct becomes blocked or damaged, sebaceous cysts can develop. They can occur on any body part that has sebaceous glands, but common locations include:

  • Face
  • Neck
  • Upper back
  • Upper chest

Small sebaceous cysts are typically not painful, however, as they enlarge they can become uncomfortable and painful due to stretching of the skin. Also, for large sebaceous cysts that may be subjected to external pressure when laying down, such as when they are on your back or your chest, this may also cause discomfort. When they are causing constant pain and discomfort, then this may be a sign that you need to see some sort of medical intervention.

Treatment of a sebaceous cyst

We can treat your sebaceous cyst by draining it or by surgically removing it. During your one-on-one consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons, they will explain to you in detail all the options you have. Some patients opt against surgical removal because of scarring. It is important to mention that without complete surgical excision, your cyst will most likely come back.

Minor Procedures - Frequently Asked Questions

Which minor procedures are covered under OHIP?

OHIP coverage status for a procedure is not determined by your family doctor or by the surgeons at the Canadian Plastic Surgery Centre. The Ministry of Health has determined a number of procedures to be OHIP covered while others are not. Examples of skin growths and conditions that are generally not covered under OHIP are:

  • Lipomas
  • Skin Cysts
  • Non-suspicious Moles
  • Dermatofibromas
  • Xanthelasmas

If you are ever in doubt or have specific questions, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to address your concerns in a timely manner.

Who will be performing the minor procedures?

All of our patients being treated for minor procedures are seen by one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. You will get their undivided attention from the initial consultation, physical examination, and the actual procedure itself, followed by follow-up appointments to make sure that everything goes smoothly and even better healing process.

Will my procedure be painful?

All minor procedures are preceded with administration of local anesthetic. This is to ensure that the treatment area will be numb throughout the procedure and minimize any possible pain and discomfort.

Will I get a scar?

It is impossible to escape a scar after an incision is made on your skin. However, with experience and advanced surgical techniques, scarring can be minimized. Our board-certified plastic surgeons have years of experience and the technical expertise to remove your skin growths and lesions while placing strong emphasis on minimizing post-operative scarring.

When can I return to work?

This is a very good question that is difficult to answer as everyone's jobs are very different. The main goal is to minimize the physical strain and tension placed on the treatment area following your procedure. This is done to maintain the integrity of the stitches and minimize potential risk of infections and poor scarring. Our plastic surgeons will give you detailed guidance on your appropriate post-operative course.

How long will my procedure take?

This will depend on the type of procedure being performed. You will get a chance to have all your questions addressed during your private consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. If you simply forgot to ask, then please call our clinic and one of our staff will be more than happy to assist you.

Consult with our board-certified specialists today

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Re-Opening June 8th Update

As a valued member of the Canadian Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Centre, we want to personally update you on steps our practice has taken to protect you and your health in light of the COVID-19 situation.

As it has always been, the safety and health of our patients and staff members remain our highest priority. We want to thank you for your support and the confidence you have in our practice. In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have taken the guidelines from the Ministry of Health and have added the following extra measures to protect our patients:

  1. A COVID-19 screening questionnaire must be completed prior to your appointment.
  2. Upon arrival for your appointment, you will be asked to check-in while in your car and one of our staff member will come and meet you at the door.
  3. Patients must arrive wearing their own face masks, and continue to wear them in office until taken into the exam room, and sanitize their hands upon arrival.
  4. We have spaced out the waiting room area and decreased our daily patient volume to reduce the likelihood of crowding.
  5. We have installed plastic barriers at the front desk for the safety of our staff and patients.
  6. Social distancing is seen as the most effective way of slowing the spread of the virus causing COVID-19. Patients should avoid close contact, minimize interaction, and put distance between themselves and other patients within the office.
  7. We will continue to provide virtual consultation options to patients who would like to see our specialists virtually.
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Thank you for being a loyal patient. We will remain attentive to this situation and keep you updated on any changes with the practice.

- The CDPSC Team