Epidermal Cysts

Epidermal cysts are small, hard lumps that develop slowly under the skin. They are filled with thick matter consisting of dead keratins and oil gland secretion.


Epidermal cysts are caused by:
  • Buildup of keratin (protein that occurs naturally in skin cells)
  • Damage to the hair follicle from acne
  • Blockage or improper functioning of oil glands


  • Small, hard lumps develop under the skin.
  • Lumps are filled with thick and smelly matter.
  • Lumps turn red if infected. Pressure creates pain and discomfort.
However, these symptoms may also be caused by conditions other than epidermal cysts. Please seek medical attention for accurate diagnosis.


Doctors can usually diagnose epidermal cysts by their skin presentation. For doubtful cysts, a dermatologist is sometimes consulted to confirm the diagnosis.


  • Surgical excision: To remove cysts.
  • Draining: To open, remove abscess and infected cysts.
  • Steroid injection: Not to remove cysts, but to reduce inflammation and early infection.
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