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Epidermal Inclusion Cysts


Epidermal inclusion cysts are the most common skin cysts in adults. These cysts are usually round, firm lumps filled with a cheese-like material called keratin. They are also called epidermoid, keratin, or sebaceous cysts. They can be found almost anywhere on your body. The cysts are most common on the face, back, neck, chest, and around your ears. They can be caused by blocked hair follicle and oil gland ducts in your skin. Epidermal inclusion cysts may grow slowly but are not cancerous.


Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them at your visits.


  • Antibiotics may be given to treat or prevent an infection.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your cyst becomes swollen, red, and painful.
  • Your cyst is large and leads to trouble moving or a deformed area.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.