A dermoid cyst is a pocket under the skin that contains tissues normally present in the outer layers of the skin. The pocket forms a mass that is sometimes visible at birth or early infancy but often is not seen until later years. Dermoid cysts are usually found on the head, neck, and face, but can happen anywhere on the body.
Symptoms of a Dermoid Cyst
While each person may experience symptoms differently, a dermoid cyst usually involves a small, often painless, lump. The lump may be skin-colored or may have a slight yellow tinge.
A dermoid cyst can look like other neck masses or medical problems. Always talk with your health care provider for a diagnosis.
Causes of a Dermoid Cyst
A dermoid cyst is a congenital defect (present from birth) that happens during embryonic development when the skin layers do not properly grow together. A dermoid cyst is lined with epithelium, which contains cells normally in skin layers, including hair follicles and sweat glands. These glands and tissues secrete their normal substances, which collect inside the cyst, causing it to grow.
Diagnosing a Dermoid Cyst
Dermoid cysts are diagnosed by physical exam. Generally, the mass can be easily moved beneath the skin. In addition to a complete physical exam and medical history, your doctor may order imaging tests, such as a CT or MRI.
Treatments for a Dermoid Cyst
Your doctor will talk with you about the best treatment plan for you or your child. Your doctor will consider your age, overall health, and other factors. Treatment typically involves surgery to remove the dermoid cyst.
Why Choose Columbia
Our team of highly trained specialists will work with you to decide which type of treatment best fits your needs. If surgery is necessary, we will provide the best care possible that minimizes discomfort and scarring.