Skin - Nonmelanocytic tumors

Author: Ghassan Tranesh, M.D. (see Authors page)
Editor: Hong Qu, M.D.

Revised: 4 October 2016, last major update December 2014

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Steatocystoma [title] skin

Cite this page: Steatocystoma. website. Accessed October 17th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Small cyst with lining similar to corrugated cuticle of sebaceous duct, associated with sebaceous glands
  • Usually presents as multiple cysts (steatocystoma multiplex), less commonly as solitary cyst (steatocystoma simplex) in adulthood
  • Also called sebaceous duct cyst
  • Onset most often near puberty; commonly in second through fourth decades
  • Females > males (slightly)
  • Usually on chest; also face, back, limbs; rarely elsewhere
  • Arises sporadically or with an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance
  • Rare cases associated with Gardner's syndrome, pachyonychia congenita, ectodermal dysplasias
Clinical features
Case reports
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Skin colored papules

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Empty cyst with serpiginous wall lined by thin squamous epithelium
  • Outer surface has corrugated cuticle
  • No / minimal granular layer
  • Abortive epithelial tract may extend from cyst to epidermal surface
  • Sebaceous glands are commonly adjacent to or contiguous with cyst wall
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Corrugated luminal surface

Crenulated eosinophilic lining

Palisading epithelial cells

Sebaceous glands within cyst wall