Cyst is a closed sac with a lining and liquid or semi-solid contents.
Both epidermoid and pilar cyst contain a cheesy material that looks like white toothpaste. This material is keratin.
Epidermoid and pilar cysts are common, not cancerous, and not contagious.
Epidermoid cysts affect young and middle aged adults and are common in acne. Pilar cysts are more common in women than men and tend to come during middle age. They may have a positive family history especially pilar cyst.
Both types of cyst grow slowly. They may become infected (red and painful) and then discharge cheesy foul-smelling pus. They look like round, dome-shaped bumps just under the skin whitish or yellow sometimes with a dark plug. The cysts vary in size, can occur anywhere on the skin although Pilar cysts are most common on the scalp.
Epidermoid and pilar cysts are harmless, and can be left alone. Cysts are easy to remove under local anesthesia and removal may be required:
- If the cyst is unsightly and cosmetically bothersome.
- If it interferes with routine life
- If the cyst becomes infected.
Epidermoid and pilar cysts are not dangerous, but your dermatologist should confirm that the diagnosis is right.