Sebaceous Cyst & Glands 101 for Massage Therapist, Spa & Salon Service Providers

Sebaceous Cyst & Glands 101 for Massage Therapist, Spa & Salon Service Providers

Sebaceous Glands

Sebaceous glands are located within the skin. They secrete an oily/waxy matter, called sebum.  The sebum helps lubricate and waterproof the skin and hair.  The sebum also helps contribute to the skin's low pH acid mantle.

The greatest number of sebaceous glands are on the face and scalp. There are no sebaceous glands on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.

There are many different types of sebaceous glands in the human body.  The sebaceous glands which cosmetologists are most concerned with are connected to hair follicles. One or more sebaceous glands may surround each hair follicle, and the glands themselves are surrounded by arrector pili muscles. The glands deposit sebum on the hair shaft which travels to the skin’s surface.

Massage therapy, spa and salon staff service precaution:  do not press directly onto a sebaceous cyst.  Here are some images of sebaceous cysts that are clogged sebaceous gland pores:

Sebaceous glands can become “clogged” and cause oil/sebum to “back up”, creating infections plus unsightly bumps and cysts within the skin.  It is our job as cosmetologists and estheticians to clean the hair and skin (when the service is covered under your license), which can help prevent blockages of these sebaceous glands.  

Efficient cleansing and exfoliation should help prevent the formation of a sebaceous cyst, and exfoliation with a physical or chemical exfoliant could help eliminate a sebaceous cyst.  However, if the sebaceous cyst is not eliminated, is infected or bothersome, then the individual should seek immediate treatment from a licensed dermatologist.

To learn more, please register for training with us at:

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