Bruce P.Robinson, MD


What is a cyst?

A cyst is a closed sac with a defined membrane and division on the nearby tissue. 

Cysts may contain fluid, air or semisolid material. Parasites — such as trichinosis, dog tapeworm and echinococcus. Cysts are typically benign growths that consist of a wall that makes the contents. Often these bumps are cosmetically unacceptable or patients desire removal in the event they may rupture. Although cysts can remain intact for a lifetime, may go away on their own.There is also the risk of rupturing, which can lead to a great deal of inflammation, pain and infection. This necessitates surgical excision.

Sebaceous & Epidermoid Cysts

Sebaceous / Epidermoid Cysts are typically a common, noncancerous type of cyst. Sebaceous cysts arise from sebaceous glands that secrete oily matter that lubricates the hair and skin. These cysts, which may be hereditary, are caused when glands or hair follicles become blocked. Trauma to the skin is another likely cause of a cyst. These cysts appear as small bumps beneath the skin. Although they can occur almost anywhere on the body, they typically appear on the face, neck and trunk. A foul odor may be secreted from the outside skin of the cyst. Sebaceous cysts grow slowly and usually are not painful; thus, treatment is rarely needed. However, options are available if these cysts become painful or have an unacceptable appearance.

Cyst Removal Techniques

There are three common cyst removal techniques specifically for sebaceous cysts — conventional wide excision, minimal excision and punch biopsy excision. 

Pilar Cysts

Lastly, these cysts typically appear on the scalp which originate in the skin and hair follicles, may cause lumps under the skin, but often do not require surgical removal.

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