Epidermoid (ep-ih-DUR-moid) cysts are noncancerous small bumps beneath the skin. Epidermoid cysts can appear anywhere on the skin, but are most common on the face, neck and trunk. Slow growing and often painless, epidermoid cysts rarely cause problems or need treatment. But you may choose to have a cyst removed by a doctor if its appearance bothers you or if it's painful, ruptured or infected.
Epidermoid cysts represent the most common cutaneous cysts. While they may occur anywhere on the body, they occur most frequently on the face, scalp, neck, and trunk. Epidermoid cysts have been referred to by various terms, including follicular infundibular cysts, epidermal cysts, and epidermal inclusion cysts. The term epidermal inclusion cyst refers specifically to an epidermoid cyst that is the result of the implantation of epidermal elements in the dermis. Because most lesions originate from the follicular infundibulum, the more general term epidermoid cyst is favored. Epidermoid cyst signs and symptoms include: a small, round bump under the skin, usually on the face, trunk or neck, a tiny blackhead plugging the central opening of the cyst, a thick, yellow, foul-smelling material that sometimes drains from the cyst, redness, swelling and tenderness in the area, if inflamed or infected etc.
These cysts usually do not cause any kind of discomfort or cosmetic problems. General treatment involves injection, incision and drainage, minor surgery, Lasers etc.
No racial predilection has been identified. Pigmentation of epidermoid cysts is common in individuals with dark skin. In a study of Indian patients with epidermoid cysts, 63% of the cysts contained melanin pigment. Epidermoid cysts are approximately twice as common in men as in women. Epidermoid cysts may occur at any age; however, they most commonly arise in the third and fourth decades of life. Small epidermoid cysts known as milia are common in the neonatal period.