Epidermal cyst (skin sebaceous cyst)

Skin | Dermatology | Epidermal cyst (skin sebaceous cyst) (Disease)


An epidermoid cyst is a benign cyst usually found on the skin. The cyst develops out of ectodermal tissue. Histologically, it is made of a thin layer of squamous epithelium. An epidermal cyst (sebaceous cyst) is a sac of material that looks like cheese. It develops when skin cells deposit keratin under the skin. The bumps are usually painless beneath the skin and movable. They can become inflamed and infected. They are found throughout the body including the scrotum.

A sebaceous cyst is a type of cyst that forms in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. A sebaceous cyst is also sometimes called an epidermal cyst. It forms when a sebaceous gland, an oil-producing gland in the skin, becomes blocked. This creates a sac that fills with a fatty yellow substance that can resemble cottage cheese.

Causes and Risk factors

Sebaceous cysts can be caused by skin trauma, swollen hair follicles, and high levels of testosterone. The primary symptom of a sebaceous cyst is a painless nodule or pale lump in the skin. Sebaceous cysts are very common. They are not cancerous and are generally not a serious condition.

Sometimes a person can feel a cyst themself when he/she feels an abnormal lump. For example, cysts of the skin or tissues beneath the skin are usually noticeable. Cysts in the mammary glands (breasts) also may be palpable (meaning that you can feel them when you examine the area with your fingers). Cysts of internal organs such as the kidneys or liver may not produce any symptoms or may not be detected by the affected individual.

Diagnosis amd Treatment

These cysts often are first discovered by imaging studies. An epidermoid cyst is usually removed by making an incision over the cyst and removing most of the contents. Then, the whole cyst wall is separated from the surrounding tissue and removed. If the incision is large enough, it may need to be sutured closed. ...