Epidermoid Cyst (Sebaceous Cyst)


Epidermoid cysts are slow-growing, small bumps that develop beneath the skin. They are usually painless and tend to occur on the face, neck, trunk, and sometimes the genital area.

Epidermoid cysts have the following characterisitics:

NOTE: Because of the risk of infection and scarring, it is recommended that you do NOT squeeze the cyst.

Other Types of Cysts

Complications of Epidermoid Cysts

Cause of Epidermoid Cysts

The epidermis, the topmost layer of skin, is constantly growing new skin cells and shedding old cells. If these cells grow inward, they cannot shed and start to accumulate under the skin. This is most likely to occur near small hair follicles and larger oil glands (sebaceous glands) that are concentrated on the face, neck, upper back and groin. The material that accumulates within the cyst is keratin, a protein produced by the epidermal cells.

Risk Factors for Developing Epidermoid Cysts

The following risk factors increase a person’s risk for developing epidermoid cysts.

Treatment of Epidermoid Cysts

Epidermoid cysts are usually not harmful and may resolve without treatment. However, treatment may be recommended in the following cases:

A cyst that’s inflamed, ruptured or infected may be treated with: