Epidermal cysts, or Pilar cysts, are common benign lumps that are found just under the skin. They may occur anywhere but commonly on the back, chest and scalp areas. The old name of “sebaceous cysts” is now not commonly used by dermatologists.
Patients may have these for a long time, and may attend either because it is increasing in size or causing concern. Frequently they may have been squeezing the contents (a white paste like substance with a cheesy smell) for some years-usually their partners or children have great satisfaction doing this- only to find it refilling again. This also increases the risk of another reason with which they ask for my help- when the cyst becomes infected!
The only permanent way of its removal is by excision of the entire cyst lining from its cavity in the skin. A small incision is made, the layers of the skin are carefully cut until the cyst is seen, and in effect the cyst can be “shelled” out to remove it whole. Sometimes the cysts can break as they are removed, but experienced surgeons will have a “feel” for the cyst lining, which can still be removed so that the cyst does not re form. if it does reform, it can be operated on again.
Our Patient: This patient began to feel a change or lump on his back and made an appointment to come and see Dr Kannan Athreya here at Essex Private Doctors. I identified an epidermal cyst on his back, and performed a simple medical excision. Both the patient and myself were very pleased with the outcome!
If you would like to discuss this simple procedure or have any questions then please do not hesititate to get in touch with us: [email protected] Tel: 01277 201001