What is a Pilar Cyst?
Pilar cysts are benign growths that form around the hair follicles and are commonly found on the scalp.
Cysts on the scalp can appear isolated, but they can also be found in the form of multiple pilar cysts.
They appear as spherical bumps on the body with a skin-like appearance. You can see what a pilar cyst looks like on our pilar cyst removal surgery on our YouTube channel.
How to identify a pilar cyst?
Pilar cysts are very common and can appear on any part of the body. However, the majority of pilar cysts appear on the scalp. They are slow growing and at first not obvious. With time they will grow and become more noticeable.
When examining a pilar cyst you will notice that they have a smooth curved surface with a slightly boggy consistency. They are not typically painful but if pilar cysts are left untreated they can not only grow in size but can also become infected (see below).
Multiple pilar cysts have been reported to run in families, therefore they can have a genetic origin.
We recommend seeing you doctor if you suspect a pilar cyst. You can also send an online enquiry at lipomacyst.com or email@example.com and we will get in touch.
Multiple Pilar Cysts Removal
Cysts of the scalp are one of the routine cyst removal treatments we carry out in our clinic. It involves numbing of the affected area with local anaesthetic, a small incision, before removing the cyst and cyst sack. The wound is then closed and we do not shave the hair.
Pilar Cyst Removal Recovery
Scalp lesions heal well, and a full recovery is to be expected 2-3 weeks after the surgery.
The stretched skin over the pilar cyst is then reabsorbed after a few weeks.
It has been observed that pilar cysts may also develop dips in the skull where they sit. This is one of the reasons why early removal is recommended.
Cyst Sack Removal
Pilar cysts tend to have a thicker sack than epidermoid cysts. This makes the pilar cyst removal much easier and quicker, as the sack very rarely breaks. In most cases, the cyst sack is removed whole and minimally damaged, like a small marble. We recommend sending the tissue biopsy to the laboratory for analysis. That way we can be confident that there are no cancer cells present. Cancer in pilar cysts is very rare.
Infected Pilar Cysts
Pilar cysts can get infected. This usually happens as a result of squeezing the cyst, accidentally hitting it, or simply by leaving it for too long. When a cyst becomes infected, the cyst sack ruptures and the contents drain around the affected area, creating redness, tenderness and pain.
When a cyst becomes infected you may notice a discharge and discomfort on the affected area of the scalp. We recommend seeing your doctor to have the cyst removed, who will also be able to confirm the diagnosis.
Multiple pilar cysts tend not to get infected as often as isolated ones, as the patients usually request removal before the cysts grow out of proportions, due to their number and unsightly appearance. Early removal reduces the risk of infection.
Other Scalp Lumps
Apart from pilar cysts, other lesions can develop on or around the scalp. The most common are lipomas, forehead lipomas, or moles.
Multiple lipomas on the scalp tend to be less frequent than multiple pilar cysts. Lipomas on the scalp, forehead lipomas or temple lipomas usually develop in isolated lumps, as a result of trauma.
The lipoma removal technique is different than the cyst removal technique, given the difference in tissue. Lipoma removal on the scalp usually require more time, as they are often friable and adhered to the layers. A more extensive material on forehead lipoma removal can be found here.
Moles on the scalp are found even less frequent than multiple pilar cysts or lipomas. Mole removal is a simple procedure that usually involves shaving off the excess skin on the affected area.
Cyst Removal at Home
No DIY! Cysts are not pimples that can be squeezed out of the skin. They form underneath the skin layers so attempting to remove them in a non-surgical environment is dangerous. We use local anaesthetic, that contains adrenaline, which reduces the blood flow around the affected area, for a pain-free cyst removal and minimal blood loss.
Please, do not attempt to remove cysts at home! It is not advisable to remove cysts at home, as the risk of bleeding and infection is very high and can even result in injury. Get in touch at lipomacyst.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for cyst removal!