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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Steatocystoma multiplex

Other Names for this Disease
  • Multiple sebaceous cysts
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Your Question

I have steatocystoma multiplex. This condition mostly affects my arms and legs. Is there any treatment for this?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

How might steatocystoma multiplex be treated?

Treatment options for steatocystoma multiplex are limited and have had varying degrees of success. The most effective treatment method is thought to be surgical excision of cysts, but cosmetic considerations, time, overall cost, and pain need to be considered because affected individuals often have multiple cysts.[1] In many cases, small incisions (cuts into the skin) allow the cyst and its contents to be extracted through the opening.[2] Other treatment options include oral isotretinoin to temporarily shrink the cysts and reduce inflammation; oral antibiotics to reduce redness and swelling; drainage; and/or liquid nitrogen cryotherapy.[2][1] It has also been suggested that facial cysts may improve with dermabrasion.[3]

In a recently published case study, the authors present a case in which an individual affected on the abdomen and lower chest showed substantial clearance of cysts after two laser treatment sessions.[1] Future studies with a larger patient population will be helpful to evaluate this noninvasive treatment option and determine ideal treatment settings, number of treatments, and interval between treatments. This may prove to be an option for individuals with numerous cysts, in whom excision and drainage is not a realistic choice and other treatments have failed to improve the condition.[1]

Last updated: 6/8/2012

  • Moody MN, Landau JM, Goldberg LH, Friedman PM. 1,450-nm Diode Laser in Combination with the 1550-nm Fractionated Erbium-Doped Fiber Laser for the Treatment of Steatocystoma Multiplex: A Case Report. Dermatol Surg. April 2012; Epub:
  • Amanda Oakley. Steatocystoma multiplex. DermNet NZ. July 2, 2011; Accessed 6/6/2012.
  • Lee KK, Mehrany K, Swanson NA. Recognition and Treatment of Skin Lesions. In: Cummings. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery, 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby, Inc; 2005;