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Epidermoid (sebaceous) Cysts

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  • Epidermoid (sebaceous) Cysts

    Epidermoid (sebaceous) 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. They are noncancerous small bumps beneath the skin. Epidermoid cysts can appear anywhere on the skin. Slow growing and often painless, epidermoid cysts rarely cause problems or need treatment. Many people refer to epidermoid cysts as sebaceous cysts, but they're different. True sebaceous cysts are less common. They arise from the glands that secrete oily matter that lubricates hair and skin (sebaceous glands).

  • Epidermoid (sebaceous) Cysts

    Symptoms

    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
  • Epidermoid (sebaceous) Cysts

    Diagnosis and Treatment

    The doctor can usually make a diagnosis by looking at the cyst. The doctor may also scrape off skin cells and examine them under a microscope or take a skin sample (biopsy) for detailed analysis in the laboratory.The treatment includes administration of an injection which involves injecting the cyst with a medicine that reduces swelling and inflammation, incision and drainage of the cyst contents, minor surgery is performed to remove cysts or laser treatment may be suggested.

  • Epidemology

    No racial predilection has been identified. Pigmentation of epidermoid cysts is common in individuals with dark skin. 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.

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