Bump behind ear, in neck or lump in neck, groin or armpit

I have a bump behind my ear, in my neck or I have a lump (painful or not) in my neck, groin or armpit. What could that be? There is a good chance that you suffer from a sebaceous cyst or atheroma cyst. This is a harmless condition. This is a subcutaneous lump. This occurs when a hair follicle becomes clogged. It is actually a cavity in which dead skin cells, sebum and sweat accumulate. Preferred locations are the head, neck, armpits or on the back and shoulders. But you can also get it behind your ear. It is best not to squeeze out a sebaceous cyst (yourself). This is to prevent a scar from being left behind or complications from arising. A sebaceous cyst can be surgically removed if desired. This can often be done by a GP.

Sebaceous cyst

  • Bump behind ear, in neck or lump in neck, groin or armpit due to sebaceous gland cyst
  • What causes a sebaceous cyst?
  • What does a sebaceous cyst look like?
  • Can complications occur?
  • How can you have a talc gland cyst removed?

Bump behind ear, in neck or lump in neck, groin or armpit due to sebaceous gland cyst

A sebaceous cyst is a small subcutaneous bump or lump that manifests itself on your head, face, neck, torso and sometimes in your genital area. But they can also occur in other places, such as behind your ear or near the lower eyelid. It is a slowly growing and often painless bump. A sebaceous cyst is a harmless swelling of a blocked sebaceous gland, which can become larger with continued sebum production.

What causes a sebaceous cyst?

There are numerous glands in your skin that produce sebum. Sometimes a sebaceous gland becomes clogged, causing it to swell into a ball full of sebum. This harmless phenomenon is then called a ‘sebaceous cyst’ or ‘atheroma cyst’.

What does a sebaceous cyst look like?

A sebaceous cyst is a skin-colored, smooth, mobile, firm-elastic nodule; it feels like a subcutaneous marble or pea. The size usually varies from 0.5 to 2 cm. Sometimes a central opening is visible. The talc gland cyst contains whitish-yellowish, fatty contents, which smell unpleasant. The nodule is mobile relative to the sublayer. It normally doesn’t hurt.

Can complications occur?

A sebaceous cyst rarely causes problems or complications. Sometimes infection, massive pus formation and breakthrough to the outside occur. If you have a sebaceous cyst on your head, hair may no longer grow in the area. This is due to destruction of the hair follicles (hair follicles) due to chronic pressure. When a clogged sebaceous gland becomes inflamed, you can recognize this by the swelling becoming larger and red. The swelling also becomes warm and painful. The cyst may break open on its own. If this is not the case, you should make an appointment with your doctor. This will then make an incision in it. Once the inflammation has healed, the cyst can be removed by your GP.

Paracetamol has an analgesic and fever-reducing effect / Source: Martin Sulman

How can you have a talc gland cyst removed?

A sebaceous cyst is harmless and does not cause any harm. If you are bothered by it, mechanically and/or cosmetically, you can have the cyst removed by your doctor. The doctor will first give you an injection to numb the skin around the cyst. The cyst is then carefully excised, taking the cyst wall with it. The wound is then sutured and the stitches should remain in place for 5 to 12 days, depending on the location on your body. If you suffer from pain afterwards, you can take one or two tablets of paracetamol (500 mg) if you wish. Make an appointment with your doctor when you need to return to have the stitches removed.

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