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I've been having little acne looking bumps on my chest area for more than 5yrs and have been mis-diagnosed by some dermatologists as acne. Recently a dermatologist did a biopsy on a bump and lab results confirmed that I have Steatocystoma Multiplex. The area of SM growth has been spreading over the years and I'm worried that it might get worse. I've squeezed some of them in the past and left unpleasant looking scars. The doctor suggested that he could make small incision on every bump to clean up the cysts but I'm worried that the cuts will leave unpleasant scars and marks. So I wonder whether there are alternative treatments? Also, I want to understand what's been causing me to have the cysts for long-term prevention? Are there certain type of food that I should avoid? I'm seeking for second opinions before I consent to the surgery. Thank you!


I have the same condition, and I am also looking for a treatment for SM. So far there are no positive results. Everything I've read mostly say that there are no permanent treatments only temporary. What is the best temporary treatment? Is there a permanent one? How about a certain diet, would that help? Please help us.....Thanks


Hey, I was diagnosed with sm at about 19. At that time I had already had sm for 4 years without knowing what it was. It came around the time of puberty.
The doctor said there was nothing really you could do. I've tried different things so basically I can offer some suggestions: Taking efa's (essential fatty acids) like fish oils etc. I'm that sure if I found much improvement from this treatment. It's been recommended on a few sites on the web.
Another thing is, if you have larger cysts, you can use some diabetic type needles/pins, and poke into the cysts and drain it out. It looks yellow and kind of like miracle whip.
Last suggestion which I've celebrated is cutting on weight. If you can, try to be lean. After shedding a good 30/40 pounds and being lean/toned, I notice that the cysts do shrink and go away. I've noticed that my forearms, which were predominantly plagued with sm, have enjoyed great reductions in the cysts. So if you're keen on ridding the problem, change your lifestyle, go to the gym, which your diet, do cardio, basically get rid of the fat. Steato actually means 'fat'. I'm guessing you less fat you have the less cysts you will have. Just my thoughts and experience so far. Also, if you are going with my suggestion, keep in mind that as you lose fat, the cysts will probably look more visible to you but if you are toned/physcially fit, you'll start to reap the benefits.

cheers and good luck.


Yeah, and at what age do these stop coming up? Or are the growths never ending?


I've been living with these bumps on my chest for the last 4 years. They seemed to come during puberty.

I found out the actually name only a few weeks ago. So here I am trying to find out what I can do. Is there any other advice anyone else can give?

I was surprised when I couldn’t find a cream or something I could use.

Exercise has always been a big part of my life. My body fat % is only 5%. However, these bumps are still visible. It is so frustrating to live with. If I had one wish it would be to get rid of them.

I've found that sunlight helps reduce visibility. Tanned skin tends to hide them a little more. But only for a short time.

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.


I've also been having little acne looking bumps on my chest area,but I've had mine for 15yrs and have been mis -diagnosed by some dermatologists. 5yrs ago a dermatologist did a biopsy on a bump and lab results confirmed that I have Steatocystoma Multiplex. The doctor suggested that she could make small incision on every bump to clean up the cysts and I let her do it and it did leave really bad scars on my breast. She also tried to burn them with a laser which also left scars.


I've had SM since I was like 13 or so. So around 8 or so years now. Anyway, it's never really bothered me that much, but a few things that I'd like to clarify though.

Since it's a lifelong condition and all, that means that the cysts will pretty much keep on coming right?

And is it possible to get fat even if you have SM? Because I'm pretty skinny as it is. Not that I work out or anything, just that I've been inherently skinny ever since I was a kid.

The cysts on my forearms are mostly these really tiny ones that group together, so it's been kinda hard if my efforts to gain weight may perhaps be pointless as the fat just ends up turning into tiny cysts.

Well anyway, thanks guys. We should form a club or something. After all, we're like lottery winners. A pretty crappy lottery, but still winners right? RIIIIGHT?



I was diagnosed with steatocystoma multiplex today. I've had it for a few years and it never really bothered me.


Hi everyone. I found out what these little bumps were about a year ago. Since then I have been trying out different solutions and reading up on as much information as I could about this condition. Thought I could share some of my experiences and thoughts on this with anyone that is interested.

I had a few during my early teens on my chest and armpit area and it pretty much stayed stable for 15 years till about a year and a half ago when more appeared. I suspect that it had to do with my fast weight gain during this period which caused a lot more cysts to appear. I started to weight train seriously and gained about 5 to 6 pounds per month. Gaining about a total of 35 to 40 pounds within half a year of mostly muscle mass. During this time the amount of cysts increased dramaticly.

I suspect it had to do with the change of body chemistry same as during puberty when mosts cysts appear for the first time for most people with SM. For those that are wondering, no steroids was taken but I did use weight training supplements that could be found at GNC. As it is a life long condition with no cure as of now. What developes stays with you for life unless surgical excision is done.

There is a few possible (word is possible) way to control but not cure it. It is to try to prevent new cysts from forming as much as possible but not to get rid of old ones. Some people have said that they have success with essential oils such as omega 3 and 6. You could read up on this by googling DR. Stoll and Sebaceous cysts.

Another way is taking accutane to try to control the sebum (oil) that is causing the cysts. This is said to work for some people. Doesn't do anything for others and in a few rare cases actual might make it worst. I am taking accutane along with the essential oils right now. Not sure is it working. No new cysts recently and not getting worst so that is something I guess. There is a lot of potential side affects to accutane though. Read up on it first.

Surgery is the only way for now to get rid of the cysts. If it is drained, there is a very good chance that it will refill again with sebum. The cysts itself have to be taken out whole with no part left behind to regrow the cysts. There are different ways to do this with various degrees of success for each method. There is laser surgery such as CO2 laser, or excision biopsy. Google these with SM to get more details on it.

All these procedures are time consuming for SM and very expensive because of the about of cysts most of us have. It cost about $30,000 to take out around 100 cysts at the Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic is one of the most respected hospitals in the U.S. They charge per cyst. See if your insurance covers it or not. Study up on scars first and see if you are prone to developing keloids before you decide on surgery.

There is a recent article of a minimal invasive surgery that was said to be tested for getting rid of cysts from SM in Korea on five people. The article said that it was successful, fast, and there was no sign of scarring on the test subjects. It is a new procedure and not much could be found on it. Sounds like a better option than the other available procedures. Docters from other countries just need to start implementing it first. Google Steatoma Multiplex vein hook surgery to get the article.

For those of us that do scar or is afraid of scarring from surgery. There is possible hope also. There is a medical product called Juvista that is undergoing final phase of testing on humans that could possibly revolutionalized surgery and scarring. It is said to prevent scars from forming and leave flawless skin after surgery or injury and works for almost everybody. If all goes well then the product should be out by the year 2009. Still a few years away but 2 years isn't too bad.

If something like the vein hook surgery is used to get rid of cysts quickly and could be combined with Juvista to prevent scars, then there is no longer a reason to not have the cysts excised. scarring is the major reason why docters and people with SM is reluctant to perform surgery.

Look up Ronovo to get info on the company and Juvista with the word articles to get information on the product that could possibly change surgery as we know it when and if it passes its final trial and becomes available to the public. It is said to cost the same as a shot of botox which makes it affordable for most people. The best article I read so far about juvista is from Timesonline.

Hope this will help some of the people here. Sorry that I could not provide links but it is not allowed here so suggestions on googling is the best I could manage. Will try to share more if I discover anything new or interesting when I come across them.

**edited by moderator ** web addresses not allowed **


Eh, I just had some of them pricked. But only the superficial ones on the chest area. Not too deep in. No scarring, unless it's one of the deeper ones. But I had a few of those taken out too since they were getting huge.

But again, for 10 dollars, I had a good ~50 of them removed.


Different ethnicity have different chances of scarring. People with very light skin tones have the smallest chance of scarring and forming keloids. People with naturaly darker pigmented skin tones such as asians and africans have a much higher chance. I wonder why? Guess you are one of the lucky ones. I for one, do scar.

Wow, 10 dollars to have 50 of them removed? That is way cheap. How did you get such a deal?


The dermatologist is a friend of my mother.

And I am Asian. Scarring on those pricked are rare. Just for the ones that were really deep I suppose.

You could try asking how much pricking a couple would cost you. Just make sure that it's the superficial ones in unexposed areas to test how well it works for you.

Having the ones on my neck removed really lifted my mood. And I didn't know it affected me that much. I guess it was a subconscious thing.

But anyway, good luck to you fellows.


I had this diagnosed as a teenager. I do not have a severe case, and was able to have most of them excised without noticable scarring by a dermatologist, and was able to drain several on my own using a sharp pointed X-acto knife. With one exception, they did not recur. They first appeared on the mid torso, and after I took care of those I went several years without much incident. In recent months I've developed a couple on my neck around my jawline which are more difficult to deal with as I'm not eager to do any self-surgery on my face.


I have had these since atleast pubery (I am 28 now). I am female and have them on the chest, so atleast I'm able to keep them covered up (although I can't wear cute 2 piece suits, etc.). I went to a highly recommended dermatologist about 5 years ago and, basically, she told me what it was and that I would just have to live with it for the rest of my life. Gee, thanks. Well, I feel bad for anyone who has them in a more prominent area. Hang in there! It was comforting to realize that I'm not the only one...thanks for all the advice. Oh, and I see that someone said that it is good if you lose weight. Well, I'm not overweight and never have been, and I still have about a hundred on my chest. Being tan does seem to help mask them, though, for me.


I have had sm all my life. It did get worse after pubery and now that Iam in my late 30's it is quite severe.I have many on my chest and on my face. Kind of hard on the self esteem sometimes... I think we should form a support group for all us cyst suffers.I suppose there are worse things in the world to have but usually there is some form of treatment or help.