In dermatology, a cyst is a specific type of skin lesion that forms within or just beneath the skin. Dermatological cysts are typically enclosed sacs or pockets filled with a semi-solid or fluid substance. These cysts can vary in size, shape, and appearance, and they often occur in the skin or subcutaneous tissue (the tissue just below the skin).

Common types of cysts seen in dermatology include:

  1. Epidermoid Cysts: Also known as epidermal cysts or sebaceous cysts, these are among the most common dermatological cysts. They develop from hair follicles and are typically filled with a white, cheesy material composed of dead skin cells and sebum. Epidermoid cysts are often slow-growing and non-painful but can become inflamed or infected.
  2. Pilar Cysts: These cysts are very similar to epidermoid cysts but usually develop on the scalp and are associated with hair follicles. They contain the same type of keratinous material.
  3. Milia: Milia are tiny, superficial cysts that often appear as small white or yellowish bumps on the skin. They usually form when dead skin cells become trapped near the surface. Milia are often seen on the face, especially in infants.
  4. Trichilemmal Cysts: These cysts, also called pilar cysts, are related to the hair follicles and contain a protein called keratin. They tend to occur on the scalp and can become quite large.
  5. Dermoid Cysts: Dermoid cysts are congenital cysts that can contain a variety of tissues, including hair, teeth, and other structures. They are typically present at birth but may not become noticeable until later in life.
  6. Steatocystoma Multiplex: This is a rare genetic condition characterized by multiple, small, benign cysts that contain sebum. They often develop on the chest, armpits, neck, and face.
  7. Mucous Cysts: These cysts often occur on the fingers and contain clear, jelly-like fluid. They are also known as ganglion cysts and are associated with joint or tendon structures.
  8. Lipomas: Although not true cysts, lipomas are benign fatty tumors that can appear as soft, movable lumps beneath the skin.

Treatment for dermatological cysts may include drainage, surgical removal, or other procedures, depending on the type of cyst, its location, and whether it is causing any symptoms or cosmetic concerns. It's important to consult with a dermatologist for a proper evaluation and diagnosis, as well as to discuss the most appropriate treatment options for your specific condition.

If you have questions about a cyst, contact us or schedule an appointment online.