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For further information, see CMDT Part 6-50: Epidermal Inclusion Cyst

Key Features

  • Firm dermal papule or nodule

  • Overlying black comedone or "punctum"

  • Expressible foul-smelling cheesy material

  • May become red and drain, mimicking an abscess

Clinical Findings

  • Benign growths of the upper portion of the hair follicle

  • Common in Gardner syndrome and may be the first sign of the condition

  • Favor the face and trunk

  • May complicate nodulocystic acne vulgaris

  • Individual lesions range in size from 0.3 cm to several centimeters


  • Cultures of the expressed material will be sterile


  • Not required if asymptomatic

  • Inflamed lesions may be treated with incision and drainage or intralesional triamcinolone acetonide 5–10 mg/mL

  • For large or symptomatic cysts, surgical excision is curative

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