Epidermal Cyst

An epidermal cyst is a small, round lump in the top layer of skin called the epidermis. It may be filled with a soft, yellow substance called keratin. Epidermal cysts most often appear on the face, ears, back, or chest. But they can appear on almost any part of the body.

When you have an epidermal cyst, the lump or bump under the skin is:

  • Small, round, and smooth.
  • About the size of a pea, or a little smaller or larger.
  • Yellow, white, or skin-coloured. It can turn red if it becomes inflamed.
  • Painless. But it can be painful if it's inflamed.

An infected cyst will need to be treated by a doctor. This may involve opening it to let the contents out. It may also include taking antibiotics.

If a cyst is inflamed but not infected, or you are bothered by how the cyst looks, your doctor may treat or remove it.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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