(Epidermoid Cyst; Epidermal Inclusion Cyst; Epithelial Cyst; Keratin Cyst)
- Blockage of a hair follicle by skin cells—When an injury to the skin occurs, cells from the surface may block hair follicles located deeper within the skin.
- Damage to a hair follicle due to acne
- Blockage or defect of the sebaceous gland—This gland is near the hair follicle. It secretes oily material used to lubricate the skin and hair.
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- Small, dome-shaped lump beneath the skin
- Foul-smelling, cheese-like material draining from the cyst
- Redness or tenderness on or around the cyst if it becomes inflamed
- Surgical excision—The doctor removes the entire cyst, including its contents and cyst wall.
- Surgical drainage—This involves cutting open the cyst, and draining the contents. The cyst might come back, though.
- Antibiotics—These may be prescribed if the cyst has become in infected.
American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org
American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home.html
Canadian Dermatology Association http://www.dermatology.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Cysts–epidermoid and pilar. The British Association of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.bad.org.uk/site/805/default.aspx . Accessed January 2, 2013.
Cysts. DermNet NZ website. Available at: http://dermnetnz.org/lesions/cysts.html . Updated January 13, 2012. Accessed January 2, 2013.
Freedberg IM, Eisen AZ. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine . Vol 1. 5th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Health Professions Division; 1999: 884-885.
Zuber TJ. Minimal excision technique for epidermal (sebaceous) cysts. American Family Physician . 2002;65:1409-1412.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 03/2013
- Update Date: 05/11/2013