What is it?
Pilar cysts are flesh-colored bumps that can develop on the surface of the skin. They’re sometimes called trichilemmal cysts or wens. These are benign cysts, meaning they typically aren’t cancerous.
Although pilar cysts aren’t necessarily a cause for concern, you may find them uncomfortable.
You may be able to identify some of the characteristics of pilar cysts on your own, but you should still see your doctor for an official diagnosis. They can make sure the bump isn’t another type of cyst. They’ll also advise you on your next steps.
Tips for identification
Pilar cysts grow within the surface of your skin. Although 90 percent of pilar cysts occur on the scalp, they can develop anywhere on the body. Other possible sites include the face and neck. Most people end up having more than one pilar cyst at any given time.
These types of cysts can range in size. Some can be the size of a quarter, and others can grow to the size of a small ball. This process happens gradually over a long period of time.
Pilar cysts are the same color as your skin. They’re also round in shape, sometimes creating a dome-like bump on the surface of your skin. The cysts are usually firm to the touch but smooth in texture. Pilar cysts don’t contain pus, and they shouldn’t be painful to the touch.
These cysts usually develop without causing any problems. However, it’s possible that a cyst may rupture on its own or as a result of trauma. If this happens, you may notice a rash, pain, or irritation in the affected area.
Although it’s not common, infection is possible. This can lead to pain and oozing at the cyst site. You may be more vulnerable to infection after a cyst has ruptured, or after an incision is made in an attempt to remove it.
Is removal necessary?
Treatment isn’t medically necessary for pilar cysts. However, many people consider removal options for cosmetic reasons or due to general discomfort caused by the cysts. In some cases, your doctor may recommend draining the cyst with a small cut at the site of the bump. However, surgical removal is the most effective treatment method. In this approach, your doctor will remove both the cyst and the epithelial lining from the underlying hair follicle.
This stops the cyst from producing more keratin that can lead to recurring bumps. After surgery, there may be a small scar left where the cyst originally was. Despite removal, it’s possible for these types of cysts to eventually return..
DO NOY REMOVE YOUR SELF. A sebaceous cyst is almost as tempting to pop as a pimple — but hold that thought before you do.
Popping a sebaceous cyst at home by yourself could increase your risk for inflammation, infection, and discomfort. In short, this is a cyst your doctor is better off removing.