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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Steatocystoma multiplex

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.

Your Question

What is the best treatment and are there any dietary changes I should make? Are there any trials?

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

Are dietary changes known to improve the symptoms associated with steatocystoma multiplex?

We were unable to find information about the effect of dietary changes on the symptoms of steatocystoma multiplex in the available medical literature.
Last updated: 6/8/2012

Are there any clinical trials involving individuals with steatocystoma multiplex?

The U.S. National Institutes of Health, through the National Library of Medicine, developed to provide patients, family members, and members of the public with current information on clinical research studies. Although there may not be any studies specific to steatocystoma multiplex at a particular point in time, this site is updated regularly and may be checked often for updates. To find trials specific to this condition, click on the link above and use "steatocystoma multiplex" as your search term. You may also be interested in trials that involve dermatological diseases in general. To find these trials, click on the link above and use "dermatological diseases" or "skin diseases" as your search term. After you click on a study, review its "eligibility" criteria to determine its appropriateness. Use the study’s contact information to learn more.

You can also contact the Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison (PRPL) Office at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We recommend calling 1-800-411-1222 to speak with a specialist, who can help you determine if you are eligible for any clinical trials. If you are located outside the United States, and would like to be contacted via telephone, you will need to contact PRPL and provide your telephone number in full, including area code and international dialing prefix.

Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office
NIH Clinical Center
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2655
Toll-free: 1-800-411-1222
Fax: 301-480-9793
Web site:

If you are interested in enrolling in a clinical trial, you can find helpful general information on clinical trials at the Web page. Resources on many charitable or special-fare flights to research and treatment sites and low-cost hospitality accommodations for outpatients and family members, as well as ambulance services, are listed on the Web site of the Office of Rare Diseases Research (ORDR), part of the National Institutes of Health.
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. February 22, 2014; 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; 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.