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What Are Epidermoid Cysts?

By Shawn Everette

Epidermoid cysts constitute approximately 0.2 to 1.8% of all intracranial tumors and less than 1% of all intraspinal tumors. Cranial sites outweigh spinal sites by 14:1. Some cysts are solid and may be called tumors (pathological cysts). The word tumor does not necessarily mean it is cancerous – a tumor is a medical term for a swelling. Most of the time, these cysts develop on their own and there is nothing that you can do to prevent them. You keep yourself healthy and in good shape, so why is this happening to you?

To be on the safe side, doctors do surgery to remove all of these cysts. Take up healthy lifestyle habits and see your doctor regularly and you may be fortunate enough to never have a problem with painful ovarian cysts. They are either follicular cyst, which form when the ovary does not release an egg from its follicle during a menstrual cycle, or they may be corpus luteum cysts. Corpus luteum cysts occur when the follicle does release the egg, but closes and becomes filled with fluid afterward.

Most sebaceous cysts form when these surface cells, instead of shedding normally, move deeper into your skin and multiply. This often happens in areas where there are small hair follicles and large sebaceous glands, such as your genitals, upper back, neck, and face. Kim’s study shows the progression of treatment for thyroglossal cysts from most conservative to least conservative. The extended Sistrunk for central neck dissection is found superior to the foramen cecum, inferiorly by the thyroid gland, and then laterally by the medial aspects of the sternocleidomastoid muscles and will include excision of strap muscles, which is not done with the standard Sistrunk procedure. Cysts can be found anywhere in the body, including the brain. Cysts located in the brain are not truly “brain tumors” since they do not arise from the brain tissue itself.

The cyst is not visible on standard X-rays, although X-rays can confirm the presence of osteoarthritis, which is associated with these cysts. Occasionally, an ultrasound is done if swelling extends into the back of the calf to be certain that the leg swelling is caused by the cyst and not a blood clot in the leg. Follicular cysts are usually harmless, rarely cause pain and often disappear on their own within two or three menstrual cycles. Cysts that occur despite the use of oral contraceptives that are solid in appearance, or that persist after menopause are also cause for additional testing.

Dermoid cysts are usually mobile and free of adhesions. This patient also has a small fibroid on the left near the cornua of the tube. Simple kidney cysts become more common as people age. Nearly 30 percent of people over the age of 70 have at least one simple kidney cyst. Epididymal cysts are very common in men aged over 40 years. They are not harmful although they often cause concern or worry due to the fear of cancer in the testes.

The exact cause of arachnoid cysts is not known. Researchers believe that most cases of arachnoid cysts are developmental malformations that arise from the unexplained splitting or tearing of the arachnoid membrane. Sometimes these cysts may invade a nerve and damage it from within; an example of this would be the peroneal nerve at the knee, or the suprascapular nerve in the shoulder. Diagnosis is confirmed with MRI, where a cystic lesion is seen compressing or expanding the symptomatic nerve. Partial excision of the cyst wall and drainage should result in cure: only a small percentage of such cysts recur.

Learn more about how to get rid of cysts forever. Stop by Shawn Everette’s site,, where you can find out all about what you can do to treat most cysts.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Everette, Shawn "What Are Epidermoid Cysts?." What Are Epidermoid Cysts?. 21 Jun. 2010. 15 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Everette, S (2010, June 21). What Are Epidermoid Cysts?. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Everette, Shawn "What Are Epidermoid Cysts?"

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