Epidermoid cysts are noncancerous small bumps beneath the skin. They can appear anywhere on the skin, but are most common on the face, neck and trunk.
Epidermoid cysts are slow growing and often painless, so they rarely cause problems or need treatment. You might choose to have a cyst removed by a doctor if its appearance bothers you or if it's painful, ruptured or infected.
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).
Cyst Q & A
What is a skin cyst?
A cyst is a benign growth that’s usually filled with fluid or pus. Cysts can develop anywhere on your skin but are found most frequently on your face, neck, or torso. They’re usually small, round bumps. You may notice a small blackhead in the central opening of the cyst. Cysts can become red and swollen if they’re infected.
The most common type of skin cyst is an epidermoid cyst. They develop slowly and are usually painless. Epidermoid cysts don’t typically cause any problems, but you could elect to have a growth removed. For example, you may not like the appearance of the cyst, or it may rupture or become infected.
Another type of skin cyst is a sebaceous cyst. They form from your sebaceous glands, which produce sebum — one of the oils that keep your skin moisturized.
What causes cysts to develop on the skin?
Cysts develop when the cells on the surface of your skin move into your skin instead of flaking away as they age and die. You might also grow a cyst if a hair follicle is irritated or injured. As your cyst grows, it fills with keratin cells, which can liquify or turn to pus.
What should I expect during a cyst removal procedure?
The doctors at Southside Dermatology use several techniques to remove cysts, depending on their size and location. They may use an injectable medicine to reduce swelling and inflammation. Or, in other cases, your dermatologist makes a small incision in your cyst and gently squeezes out its contents.
Your dermatologist can also surgically remove your cyst. If you have any inflammation or signs of infection, they’ll treat the infection before your procedure. Dr. Alison Fischer and Dr. Robert Fischer have many years of experience in performing cyst removal surgeries, which limits your risk of scarring.
Your doctor gives you aftercare instructions to support healing and prevent infection or recurrent cysts. You should never try to pop or squeeze a cyst yourself as this can introduce bacteria into broken skin and lead to serious infections.
If you have a cyst and want to have it removed, call Southside Dermatology today or schedule an appointment online to learn about your options.
Cited from the Mayo Clinic & the American Academy of Dermatology