You’re nothing special – most people will get an epidermoid cyst at some point in their life but these smooth round lumps, commonly found on the scalp, neck, face, chest and upper back can often, quite understandably, cause alarm. Epidermoid cysts most commonly affect people in their 20s and 30s and are twice as likely on men – in fact the scrotum is a further common place for them to occur. The size of these lumps can vary from that of a small pea to a few centimetres wide and some may slowly grow over a few months. If punctured a toothpaste or cheese type fluid will sometimes seep from the cyst. Epidermoid cysts are not cancerous. Most of the time, if the cyst isn’t bothering you they can be left untouched however a number of reasons stipulate that some people may get them removed: if the cyst is particularly large or in an obvious place and therefore causing cosmetic dissatisfaction; if the cyst becomes infected or if the cyst is in a place where it is likely to become ‘traumatized’ such as the scalp which through frequent contact with a comb could become irritated. Removal is by way of a simple surgical procedure with a local anesthetic.
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