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Dermoid Cysts

Dermoid cyst is caused by underlying congenital defects already present at birth, especially in the stage when the layers of skin develop. These are what we usually call dermoid cysts and they can be present anywhere in the body such as the face, neck of scalp. Dermoid cysts are lined by epithelium, which contains tissues (usually epithelial tissues) and cells normally present in skin layers like hair follicles, sweat and oil glands. And since these glands secrete substances as part of the usual physical process, it is this same secretion that causes the cysts to grow and develop.

How will we know, then, if it is a dermoid cyst or not? First, we have to differentiate from a pilondial cyst. Both look very much alike in that both are full of hair. Thus, the difference lies in the cyst's inner structure. A small dermoid cyst on the head, oftentimes appearing in the skull sutures and its midline namely the sinus, nose, palate, tongue, under the tongue, etc., is different from the pilondial cysts in that the latter is really a pilondial sinus that is obstructed. This means that any cyst near the body surface may develop a sinus or a fistula, or even a cluster of these like the case of Canadian footballer Tyrone Jones, whose dermoid cyst was found out when he blew a tooth out of his nose. Next, we have to know its symptoms, which largely depend on the location and that of any mass lesion. Symptoms usually range from small, skin-colored or slight yellow-tinged, often painless lumps in the neck's midline to bigger complications such that it appears as neck masses and the like.

To determine if the cyst is cancerous, a patient could be diagnosed with non-invasive diagnostic procedures like ultrasound or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Another kind of diagnosis is through CT or CAT scan, acronyms for computed tomography scan. This diagnostic imaging procedure uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal and vertical "slices" of the body.

Treatment of a dermoid cyst will depend on one's overall health, age, extent of the “damage,” tolerance for medications, and preferences. Nevertheless, dermoid cysts can be removed and cured through surgical excisions such as biopsy. If the dermoid cyst is located in the facial region, a surgeon is likely to use endoscopy as a treatment method to prevent scarring. Preventing the cyst from growing back again is easy because all one has to do is to daily change the bandage and not "abuse" or bump the area where the cyst was removed.