Epidermoid cysts are asymptomatic, dome-shaped lesions that often arise from the hair follicle. Rarely, multiple epidermoid cysts may be associated with pre-cancerous polyps in the colon.
Epidermoid cysts are asymptomatic, dome-shaped lesions that often arise from the hair follicle. The cysts contain soft, white material that is unpleasant and foul smelling. Most cysts are simple lesions. Rarely, multiple epidermoid cysts may be associated with pre-cancerous polyps in the colon.
An epidermal cyst
Some cysts will remain the same size throughout; some will gradually enlarge over time while others become infected spontaneously. When the cysts are infected and inflamed, it is necessary to remove them surgically and treat it with antibiotics.
Simple incision and drainage of cysts (uninfected) frequently results in recurrence. Complete surgical excision can ensure removal of the lining sac of the cyst and prevent recurrence.
Mini-scar technique can be used for average size epidermoid cyst. The cyst can be extracted through a tiny wound which can then be closed with 1 or 2 sutures. All surgically removed cysts will be sent for laboratory analysis and follow up reviews will be arranged for discussion of the test result, as well as wound review and stitches removal.
Sagittal Illustration of an Epidermal Cyst (This diagram was downloaded from the Internet)
These cysts occur predominantly on the scalp, are odorless and more firm than epidermoid cysts. They are very amenable to removal by the mini-scar excision technique.
These congenital cysts occur in the lines of cleavage around the eyes and on the base of the nose. The lesions can extend into and beneath the skull bone and thus a CT scan before surgery is needed.
This is a genetic disorder with multiple, white / yellow small cysts (a few millimeters in diameter) found on the trunk, upper arms, axilla and thighs. The multitude of lesions makes total and complete cyst removal impossible. What is commonly done is to selectively remove a few of the biggest and most annoying lesions from time to time.
Not knowing what these lesions are, some unsuspecting patients have had their milia removed by laser! These 1 to 2 mm lesions can arise suddenly after some minor skin injury or without any known reason. A dermatologist could remove them without a laser and numbing and it would heal without any scar.
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Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
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