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Health Inset > Diseases and Conditions > Pilar Cyst – Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Pilar Cyst – Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Troubled at the sight of odd swellings or bumps on your scalp? You may be having Pilar cysts on your crown. Read on to know all about this peculiar condition.

What are Pilar Cysts?

pilar cyst
Picture 1 – Pilar Cyst
Source – plasticsurgerynotes

Pilar Cysts, also known as Trichilemmal Cysts, are sacs that are externally visible. These smooth outgrowths are filled with fluids and are formed below the skin surface. They are similar to epidermoid cysts that are formed in the inner skin layer. Trichilemmal Cysts are filled with the protein substance “keratin”, which is found in skin, hair and nails, and the fatty matter “sebum” secreted by sebaceous glands.

Approximately 10% people are found to have one or more Pilar Cysts. Around 70% of the Pilar Cyst sufferers are seen to have more than one sac on their skin surface.

One can mostly find Pilar Cysts on scalp. However, they can also be seen in other regions of the body such as ears. There are cases of sebaceous cyst on face. Occasionally, one can also have Pilar Cyst on scrotum.

Who can get Pilar Cyst?

Pilar Cysts are more common in middle aged women. They are also visible in young people who have just attained puberty and going through hormonal changes. You will rarely notice a Pilar Cyst in children. Since middle aged people are the prime target of Pilar Cyst children are very rarely seen to suffer from it.

What does a Pilar Cyst look like?

Pilar Cysts appear as smooth bumps on the surface of the skin. These have a round, dome-like shape. Pilar Cyst size is normally anywhere between 1 and 5 cm. These are generally white in color or may have the same color as skin. These cysts are usually firm. In a few cases, these can move when pressed by fingers.

Pilar Cyst Symptoms

The appearance of smooth dome-shaped bumps is not the only symptom of Pilar Cysts. Some of the other major Pilar Cyst symptoms are:

Redness

The cysts can become red in appearance if they suffer an infection.

Pain

Pilar Cyst pain is common in case of an infection. People with an infected Pilar Cyst usually experience pain o touching the suffering skin region.

Hair Loss

If the head shows a Pilar Cyst hair loss may occur in the spot where the bump has grown.

Foul Smell

If the cyst somehow suffers damage, pus may ooze out. In such cases of Pilar Cyst rupture, foul smell emanates from the bump. Sebaceous cyst popping or rupture usually occurs after the sac has grown to a considerable size. The rupture is usually followed by an infection as a natural response of the body against foreign bodies.

Irritation

The person may also experience an irritation when the cysts rub against the clothes. Friction between a tender Pilar Cyst and some other surface can cause this problem.

Enlargement

In some cases, the cyst can grow in size after some months have passed.

Horn

In a few cases, a horn may also arise over the bump giving it a further ugly appearance.

Pilar Cyst Causes

pictures of pilar cyst
Picture 2 – Pilar Cyst Picture
Source - consultantlive

The most common causes of Pilar Cyst formation include :

Obstructed Sebaceous Glands

Trichilemmal Cysts can appear if sebaceous glands suffer a blockage due to some reason.

Inflamed Hair Follicles

The bumps can arise if there is an inflammation of the hair follicles. A swelling of the follicles leads to a buildup of keratin compound and gives rise to bumps.

Heredity

Trichilemmal Cysts are sometimes inherited from parents. The condition is transmitted from parents to offspring through genes. Children of parents affected by this disease can also have it sometime in their lives.

Skin Injury

Pilar Cysts can also arise if the skin suffers an injury. A skin trauma in a particular part of the body leads to an accumulation of keratin compound in the affected region thus forming fleshy lumps.

Testosterone Production

Excessive production of the male hormone testosterone can also be one of the major causes of this disorder. This is the reason why Pilar Cysts are often found in youngsters who have just achieved puberty.

Epidermoid and Pilar Cysts

Pilar Cyst is a lot like Epidermoid Cyst in appearance. However, these are different conditions that slightly vary in nature. The variation can mainly be observed under a microscope. The lining of Epidermoid Cysts appears as the epidermal layer or the outermost cell layer of the skin. However, Pilar Cyst lining consists of cells that are similar to those found at the base of hairs.

Epidermoid Cysts affect young and middle aged people. But Pilar Cysts are noticeable more in women than men. They appear in middle aged women.

Earlier, both Epidermoid and PIlar Cysts were wrongly referred to as “Sebaceous Cysts”.

Pilar Cyst Treatment

Pilar Cyst treatment is generally not necessary. Small cysts do not require any medical attention as they normally get resolved after a point of time. But medical cure is necessary if the cyst continues to grow in size or if there is pain or infection in the bump.

In case of a Pilar Cyst infection, doctors normally recommend the use of antibiotics. Antibiotic drugs like Erythromycin and Cloxacillin are usually used for curing an Infected Pilar Cyst.

In rare cases, Pilar cyst surgery may be necessary. This is needed if the bump is already very big in size or is a constantly growing one. For an immediate treatment of Pilar Cyst on scalp removal by operation is the best procedure. Surgery helps complete Pilar Cyst removal. However, a scar may remain for a long time at the point where a Pilar Cyst excision has been carried out.

Draining a sebaceous cyst is also quite useful in curing infected cysts or large cysts. This is done by using a local anesthetic. An incision is made to release the fluid accumulated in the lump. This improves the situation and cures the sac without forming scars.

Little information is available about Pilar Cyst natural treatment. The condition requires professional medical care and Pilar Cyst home remedy is not advised by doctors.

Pilar Cyst Prevention

It is not possible to avoid the disease. However, young people can try regular exercise to keep the condition at bay. Exercise can help maintain a hormonal balance within the body and prevent Pilar Cyst formation due to over-production of testosterone. Proper hair care on a daily basis can also avoid any damage of hair follicles.

Pilar Cyst Pictures

At a loss on how the condition looks like? These Pilar Cyst images will help you know the appearance of these sacs. Find out if a bump on your body that you have been neglecting for long is a symptom of this disease.

cystpilar cyst picture
Picture 3 – Surgery Picture                                             Picture 4 - Pilar Cyst Photo
Source – imed.ro                                                                 Source – photoshelter

Pilar Cysts are usually non-threatening and non-lethal. However, they can cause pain and discomfort in the suffering person which can even temporarily impair daily activities. In very rare cases of Pilar Cyst cancer may also develop. The Pilar Cysts can become cancerous and even cause life risk. So if you spot a Pilar Cyst on your body, it is better to make visit to an experienced physician. Timely treatment can help you save a lot of future complications.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebaceous_cyst

http://www.skinsight.com/adult/pilarCyst.htm

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1058907-overview

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-pilar-cyst.htm

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/medical/pilar_cyst.htm

By   Last updated December 27th, 2010

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