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Steatocystoma multiplex is an unusual inherited disorder in which numerous cysts develop at puberty. These are generally on the chest and may also occur on the upper arms and face. In some cases cysts may develop all over the body.

Clinical features

As the tendency is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, one parent can be expected to also have steatocystoma multiplex. Both males and females may be affected.

The cysts are mostly small (2-20 mm) but may be several centimetres in diameter. They tend to be soft to firm, and contain an oily yellow liquid. Sometimes they contain one or more hairs. They may become inflamed and heal with scarring, like acne nodules.

The cysts are thought to come from an abnormal lining of the passageway to the oil glands (sebaceous duct).

Steatocystoma multiplex may be associated with pachyonychia congenita type 2 and with natal teeth (MIM184510).

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