Epidermoid cysts are small, dome-shaped and movable lumps that develops under the skin. It usually forms when the surface skin cells moves deep into the skin and multiply. The cells forming the wall of the cyst and release keratin. When the cyst wall is damaged, keratin is drained out and spreads into the surrounding skin and result to inflammation and irritation. The epidermoid cysts can remain small for years or continue to grow. This condition is usually common in adults but does not usually affects children.
Symptoms of epidermoid cysts
- Soreness and redness of the skin if it becomes inflamed or infection
- A foul-smelling fluid that looks like cheese that sometimes drains out from the cyst
- The affected area becomes warm
- A non-painful bump will form under the skin, usually on the neck, face and trunk
- The size of the cysts that forms is about ¼ to 2 inches in diameter
- A tiny blackhead plugs the central opening of the cyst
If the cyst grows fast in areas of the body that is constantly irritated, ruptures and becomes painful and infected, immediate care is needed.
- Excessive production of testosterone
- Blockage of oil or sebaceous glands
- Skin trauma
- Swollen follicles of hair
- Exposure to the sun
- Waxing and shaving
- Increased sebum production on skin
- Having a history of acne
- Apply a warm compress over the cyst. Warm a towel to 37-40 C and apply on the area for at least 10-30 minutes at 3-4 times every day until the epidermoid cysts dry up. The warm temperature dilates the blood vessels and increases the circulation of blood in the area and eliminates the inflammatory exudate and waste products due to swelling.
- Wash the skin using non-irritating antimicrobial soap in running water. Pat dry the skin with a clean towel or cloth and cover the area using sterile gauze. Keep the gauze dry and change dressing if it becomes wet. Before changing dressing, apply over-the-counter antiseptics such as povidone-iodine especially when the dressing is wet or soiled. Avoid applying cosmetics over the cyst to prevent further irritation that can worsen the condition.
- Avoid popping the cyst to prevent the risk of developing infections and permanent scarring. If the cyst bursts or accidentally pops, it can cause a break in the skin. Wash the affected area thoroughly in running water and use an antimicrobial soap when washing the area.
- Fill a bathtub with warm water and add a cup of Epsom salt. Mix until salt is totally dissolved. Soak in the tub to relieve swelling and pain caused by the cyst.