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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 removal of cysts by surgery.  However, cosmetic concerns, time, 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 removed through the opening.[2]  Other treatment options include medications such as oral isotretinoin to temporarily shrink the cysts and reduce inflammation or oral antibiotics to reduce redness and swelling.  Other procedures may include draining cysts through a procedure called aspirationliquid nitrogen cryotherapydermabrasion, and carbon dioxide laser therapy.[2][1][3][4]

In a recently published case study, the authors present a case in which an individual with steatocystomas 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 removal and drainage is not a realistic choice and other treatments have failed to improve the condition.[1]
Last updated: 6/23/2014

References
  • 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. February 22, 2014; http://www.dermnetnz.org/lesions/steatocystoma-multiplex.html. Accessed 6/23/2014.
  • 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;
  • Davey, MA. Steatocystoma Multiplex Treatment & Management. Medscape. October 26, 2012; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1059725-treatment. Accessed 6/23/2014.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Multiple sebaceous cysts
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.