Possible sebaceous cyst in the back of the head

Patient

Q: I've been searching around about my problem but the only thing that would come up would be either tumors that are cancerous and tumors that aren't cancerous. This is my problem. I've had this dent in the back of my head near the neck area. It's around 3 inches long and 3-4 inches wide. It's pushed in about a inch. It's soft and squishy when someone touches it. It hurts sometimes when I touch it. I'm only worried that it might have something to do with cancer because everyone has had cancer in my family. It's genetic. I just need an answer to this problem because it's been worrying me. Please take your time and hopefully you can answer this problem. Thank you in advance.

Doctor

A:   Based on your description of the lump, it may correspond to a Sebaceous cyst, which most often arise from swollen hair follicles. Skin trauma can also induce a cyst to form. A sac of cells is created into which a protein called keratin is secreted. These cysts are usually found on the face, neck, and trunk. They are usually slow- growing, painless, freely movable lumps beneath the skin. Occasionally, however, a cyst will become inflamed and tender. The main symptom is usually a small, non-painful lump beneath the skin. If the lump becomes infected or swollen, other symptoms may include: local redness, tender and warm skin. Sebaceous cysts are not dangerous and can usually be ignored. Placing a warm moist cloth (compress) over the area may help the cyst drain and heal. If you have a small inflamed cyst, your doctor may inject it with a steroid medicine that reduces swelling. If the cyst becomes swollen, tender, or large, your doctor may drain it or perform surgery to remove it.

Related Q&A

Q: I shared a smoking device with a person. About 5 minutes later i used my mouth to clean up a very small cut on my fin...

Q: I am currently taking microgynon 30 contraceptive pill and was wondering if respberry ketone tablets will affect my c...

Q: I have a problem with weight, I am currently taking Ant depressant Mirtazapine 45 g. What is the safest weight loss t...

Q: I have a straight horizontal cut on my pinky to which my doctor applied dermabond. I believe i took it off too soon. ...

Q: Hi. I had a partial coectomy 1 year ago. Since that time, my abdomen has been very hard, it sticks way out and is lar...

 
DOCTOR ADVISORY BOARD
218

Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician
173

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician
138

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist
98

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon
CNN
BBC
MSNBC
CBS
abcNews
FoxNews