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Telephone: 404-851-1766 Toll Free: 866-851-5030

About Bannar

Patient Education

Cysts

Epidermoid Cyst

A cyst is a sac-like growth that contains fluid or semi-fluid material.  Cysts may arise from different types of tissue in the body and are very common lesions on the skin.   Cysts usually look like smooth lumps and are benign (non-cancerous). They are usually harmless but may become inflamed or rupture into the surrounding skin causing redness and pain.  Occasionally, cysts may become infected and drain pus.

 

 

In the skin, the two most common types of cysts are known as epidermoid (infundibular) cysts and pilar (trichilemmal) cysts. These terms are preferred over more confusing and less specific names such as “epidermal inclusion cysts” or “sebaceous cysts.” Both types of cysts contain keratin which is the substance made by skin cells and makes up the top layer of the skin as well as hair and nails.  Epidermoid cysts have a lining similar to the top layer of the skin (epidermis) while pilar cysts have a lining similar to cells lining the deep portion of hair follicles. Epidermoid cysts may appear anywhere on the skin but are most common on the head, neck and upper trunk and usually are seen in young to middle-age adults.  Pilar cysts are most commonly seen on the scalp and are usually more common in middle age.

 

Most cysts form for no apparent reason in most people but occasionally some types of cysts can have a tendency to run in families.  Cysts usually do not need treatment but can be removed surgically for cosmetic reasons or if they become symptomatic.

 

Additional clinical images:

Pilar Cyst

logo-2 Finan Templeton Dermatopathology Associates 1200 Lake Hearn Drive, Suite 300     Atlanta, GA 30319     T: 404-851-1766