Epidermoid Cysts

Cysts can swell and itch and also appear on the skin as a small red bump with a tiny black opening through which an odorous substance can be emitted.

Epidermoid Cysts & Lipomas

Epidermoid Cysts

Epidermoid cysts are benign bumps under the skin. These bumps can enlarge slowly over time and should not be painful unless inflamed. They can appear on any hair-bearing skin, but are most common on face, neck, and trunk.

Causes

Epidermoid cysts are usually caused by a buildup of keratin, a protein that occurs naturally in skin cells. Cysts develop when keratin is trapped below the skin because of damage to the skin or to a hair follicle. This damage can be caused by acne or excessive exposure to the sun.

Risk Factors

Those who have gone through puberty or have had trouble with acne in the past are more likely to have cysts. Some genetic disorders or skin wounds can also increase the risk of cysts. Damage to the skin can also cause epidermoid cysts.

Symptoms

Cysts can swell and itch and also appear on the skin as a small red bump with a tiny black opening through which an odorous substance can be emitted.

Diagnoses

Most don’t cause problems or require treatment but should be evaluated if the cyst:

  • Grows quickly
  • Ruptures, becomes painful, or seems infected
  • Occurs in an area under constant irritation
  • Bothers you for cosmetic reasons

Cysts can be diagnosed by sight, but may need a biopsy or culture if there is concern for infection or the diagnosis is not clinically evident.

*Sources:

Mayo Clinic
American Academy of Dermatology

Treatment

Injection into the cyst or drainage of the cyst contents can decrease associated inflammation. Surgical reduction is a more definitive treatment for cysts.

Prevention

There is no way to prevent a cyst from forming.

*Source:

Mayo Clinic

What We Do

Procedures

  • Intralesional steroid injections
  • Incision and drainage ("I&D")
  • Surgical excision
 

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