- 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.
|Normal Skin Anatomy|
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Some epidermal cysts do not need treatment. If needed, treatment options may include the following:
- 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 infected.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Epidermoid Cyst; Epidermal Inclusion Cyst; Epithelial Cyst; Keratin Cyst)
American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org
Family Doctor–American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
Canadian Dermatology Association http://www.dermatology.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Common benign skin lesions. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T908545/Common-benign-skin-lesions . Updated July 24, 2017. Accessed September 1, 2017.
Cysts. DermNet NZ website. Available at: http://dermnetnz.org/lesions/cysts.html. Updated February 2016. Accessed September 1, 2017.
Cysts—epidermoid and pilar. The British Association of Dermatologists website. Available at: http://www.bad.org.uk/for-the-public/patient-information-leaflets/cysts---epidermoid-and-pilar?q=Cysts - epidermoid and pilar. Accessed September 1, 2017.
Luba MC, Bangs SA, Mohler AM, Stulberg DL. Common benign skin tumors. Am Fam Physician. 2003;67(4):729-738.
Zuber TJ. Minimal excision technique for epidermal (sebaceous) cysts. Am Fam Physician. 2002;65(7):1409-1412.