Epidermal Inclusion Cyst

Do you have a lump or bump on your foot?

Don't know what it is?

Q & A

What is an Epidermal Inclusion Cyst? 

An Epidermal Inclusion Cyst, also known as an Epidermoid Cyst is a noncancerous lesion that forms underneath the skin.They can appear anywhere on the skin, but are most common on the face, neck and trunk. Epidermoid cysts are slow growing and often painless, so they rarely cause problems or need treatment. You might choose to have a cyst removed by a doctor if its appearance bothers you or if it's painful, ruptured or infected.

Causes

The surface of your skin (epidermis) is made up of a thin, protective layer of cells that your body continuously sheds. Most epidermoid cysts form when these cells move deeper into your skin and multiply rather than slough off. Sometimes the cysts form due to irritation or injury of the skin or the most superficial portion of a hair follicle. Epidermal Inclusion Cysts may also form when the body walls off a foreign body such as a splinter. 

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is typically made by clinical exam. Your doctor may also scrape off skin cells and examine them under a microscope or take a skin sample (biopsy) for detailed analysis in the laboratory.

 

Treatment 

You can usually leave a cyst alone if it doesn't cause discomfort or cosmetic problems. If you seek treatment, talk with your doctor about these options:

  • Injection- This treatment involves injecting the cyst with a medicine that reduces swelling and inflammation.

  • Incision and drainage- With this method, your doctor makes a small cut in the cyst and gently squeezes out the contents. This is a fairly quick and easy method, but cysts often recur after this treatment.

  • Minor surgery- Your doctor can remove the entire cyst. You may need to return to the doctor's office to have stitches removed. Minor surgery is safe and effective and usually prevents cysts from recurring. If your cyst is inflamed, your doctor may delay the surgery.

Other Commonly Found Masses in the Foot and Ankle:

 

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