Steatocystoma Simplex & Multiplex

What is Steatocystoma?

Steatocystoma arises from a word ‘stear’ meaning fat and ‘cystis’ meaning cyst. It is a skin cyst that is non-cancerous and develops from a sebaceous gland occurring rarely in children. This cyst is classified into two types:

  • Steatocytoma Simplex– Steatocystoma simplex refers to a single cyst which is usually acquired.
  • Steatocytoma Multiplex– Steatocystoma multiplex refers to multiple cysts and it is inherited.


Multiplexes are semi-translucent, non-tender flesh-colored or yellowish cysts which arise numerously on various parts of the body. It mainly occurs on the chest, upper arms, face, abdomen, neck and armpit. The size of the cyst varies from 3 mm to 3 cm or above. They can be soft or hard in touch, without any opening and contain sebum (sebaceous gland content that appears as a yellow liquid).

Diagnosis (Differential)

Cysts similar to steatocystoma:

  • Cystic acne
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Epidermoid cyst
  • Syringoma
  • Lipomatosis
  • Eruptive vellus hair cyst
  • Gardener’s syndrome


Isotretinoin can be used to reduce the size of the cyst. To remove it permanently, any of the following can be applied:

  • Surgical excision
  • Laser treatment
  • Cryotherapy

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