Epidermoid cysts

Epidermoid cysts are benign, firm sacs that develops in the skin and can sometimes forms a dome-shaped bump that is attached to the epidermis that can move over underlying tissues. It forms usually on the face, shoulder, neck and the chest and develops at any age. This condition is not contagious but when they become infected, they can appear unappealing.

Symptoms of epidermoid cysts

  • A small blackhead plugging the center opening of the cyst
  • A small, round swelling under the skin usually in the truck, face and neck
  • If inflamed or infected, the area is swollen, tender and red in appearance
  • A thick, yellow and foul smelling material that drains from the cyst
    Epidermoid cyst

    Apply warm compress on the affected area.

When the cyst grows, ruptures and becomes infected and developed in an area that is usually irritated, seek medical help immediately.

Possible causes

  • Implantation of the epidermis into the dermis such as during trauma or surgery.
  • A blocked pore due to body piercing


  • Apply warm compress on the affected area. Warm a towel to 37-40 degrees C or and apply on the area for at least 10-30 minutes for 3-4 times every day until the cyst becomes dry. The warm compress dilates the vessels of blood and promotes improvement of the tissue. The increased flow of blood eliminates any inflammatory and waste products from the local swelling.
  • Clean the affected area regularly using a mild antimicrobial soap in running water. Pat the area dry using a clean towel and protect the area with sterile gauze and make sure the gauze remains dry all the time.
  • Apply the prescribed over-the-counter antiseptics. Repeat the procedure once every day until the skin forms a healing crust.
  • Avoid applying cosmetics and other skin care products on the affected area to prevent making the condition worse.
  • Avoid popping the cysts since they just dry up naturally. If the cyst accidentally pops, wash the area thoroughly in running water and use an antimicrobial soap to prevent irritation.
  • Apply an aloe vera gel directly on the affected area and gently rub it until it penetrates the skin at least every day until the infection is totally healed. Aloe vera gel has phenolic compounds with antibiotic properties that are beneficial for the epidermoid cysts.
  • Apple cider vinegar is an acetic acid and has antiseptic properties that helps eliminate bacteria that cause infections. Apply apple cider vinegar on the affected area and then cover it using a bandage. Remove the bandage after 3-4 days when hard layer can be seen on the lesion. Remove the crust and pus will drain together with the bacteria. Clean the area thoroughly and cover it again with a bandage without vinegar at least 2-3 days until the cyst is dry or totally healed.

If signs of infection are present such as swelling, pain, redness and warmth, seek medical help immediately.


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