Getting to Know Atheroma Cysts: Cysts Under the Skin

Have you ever heard the term "atheroma cyst"?

Atheroma cysts or also known as epidermoid cysts are lumps under the skin in the form of cysts, and this type of cyst is most commonly found under the skin, which is formed from damage or blockage of the oil (sebaceous) glands in the skin. So the contents of an atheroma cyst are sebum, dead skin cells, and also keratin which, if released, will have a thick texture, yellowish white color, and have an unpleasant odor.

A cyst is a sac formed from membrane tissue, which can contain fluid, air and semi-solid substances. The location of these cysts is most often on the face, neck, legs, but these cysts can form in any area.

Some risk factors for the formation of this cyst are:

  • Areas that are frequently scratched or scratched
  • Surgical wound area
  • Problems such as acne on the skin
  • Genetic factors
  • HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) Infection

Atheroma cysts often occur at the age of 30-40 years and are more common in men than women with a ratio of 2: 1. In the early days of life (newborns) you can also experience a similar thing called "milia".

Atheroma cysts on the skin are painless and generally small although the size can increase over time. If the cyst becomes infected, it will become painful, swollen and red. Even though it is a benign lump, if you experience a similar lump, don't hesitate to consult a doctor to determine whether this lump is truly benign.

If the doctor feels that there is suspicion of malignancy, the lump will be biopsied. The best treatment for atheroma cysts is to remove the cyst and its capsule, either with a small incision in the cyst or with a larger incision with a scalpel or laser.

The way to prevent atheroma cysts is to maintain skin cleanliness and also be more aware to detect suspicious lumps on the skin. Good treatment will prevent complications so there is no need to hesitate to get checked.

Article written by dr. Irawan Sukarno, Sp. B (General Surgeon Specialist at EMC Cikarang Hospital).