An epidermoid cyst (Epidermal Inclusion cyst, Infundibular cyst), is a benign growth commonly found in the skin and typically appears on the face, neck or trunk, but can occur anywhere on the body. Another name used is “sebacous cyst” but this is actually an antiquated misnomer, and is not a term used by dermatologists. They are also the most common type of cutaneous cysts. Epidermoid cysts result from the reproduction of epidermal cells within a confined space of the dermis. The pasty contents are mostly composed of macerated keratin (wet skin cells), which creates this “cheesy” consistency, and there can be a pungent odor. An epidermoid cyst may have no symptoms and are typically harmless. Usually people seek removal because they don’t like the appearance of these bumps, or the cyst has ruptured or been inflamed or “infected” in the past. Rupture is associated with sudden redness, pain, swelling, and local heat, and can lead to abscess formation. Also, a history of inflammation, often increases scar tissue in the area, makes the cyst more firmly adherent to surrounding skin, and makes it more difficult to remove. Surgical excision is curative, but the complete cyst removal including the entire cyst sac and contents need to be removed to ensure that the cyst won’t reoccur.
Cysts are fluid-filled pockets that form on the skin. While not usually dangerous, they can be painful and annoying. Depending on the type of cyst, you can usually have a cyst medically removed with the assistance of a doctor.
Dealing with Facial Cysts
Decide if medical intervention is necessary. Facial cysts, medically referred to as sebaceous cysts, can be annoying and unsightly but they don’t necessarily require medical intervention. If the cyst is not painful, it might be best to leave it alone to avoid complications having it removed. However, you should see a doctor if any of the following develop:
-Facial cysts are usually small, round lumps just underneath the skin. They may be black, reddish or yellowish, and occasionally release foul-smelling discharge. Cysts are generally more painful than other skin conditions, such as pimples.
-If the cyst ruptures, this can lead to a potentially dangerous boil-like infection. Prompt treatment and removal is required.
-If the cyst suddenly becomes painful and swollen, it may be infected. See a doctor to get the cyst removed and get the proper antibiotics.
-In very rare cases, a cyst can lead to skin cancer. During your regular annual doctor’s exam, ask your doctor to look at the cyst and determine if it poses a risk for cancer.
Dealing with Facial Cysts
Ask your doctor for an injection. If the cyst is infected or painful, your doctor can inject the cyst with a medication. While this will not fully remove the cyst, it will reduce redness and swelling. This can make the cyst less noticeable.
Have the cyst drained. If the cyst grows significantly or becomes painful and uncomfortable, you can have it medically removed. The cyst can be cut open and drained by your doctor.
– The doctor will make a small cut in the cyst and gently drains out the built up fluid. The procedure is fairly quick and usually not painful.
– The major downside to this method is that cysts often reoccur after being lanced and drained.
Ask about surgery. The only way to fully remove a cyst is through surgery. Talk to your doctor about undergoing surgery if you want a cyst removed.
– Cyst removal surgery is minor. It does not take very long and recovery time is relatively brief. However, you may have to return to your doctor’s office after the surgery to remove any stitches.
– Surgery is very safe and usually prevents cysts from occurring. However, cysts do not usually pose a medical threat. Therefore it may be difficult to get surgery covered by insurance.