What is an Atheroma Cyst?
An atheroma cyst is a cyst under the skin of approximately 0.5 to 3 cm in size. The bump is usually skin-colored and you can shift it relative to the underlying skin tissue. If you press it, sebum can come out. The cyst can also open automatically, which means that sebum suddenly comes out. This tallow often has a foul, sour odor. An atheroma cyst is most common on the hairy head, face, chest and sometimes on the arms or legs.
What is a cyst?
A cyst (pronounced: choose) is a cavity in your body that is filled with air or moisture. Cysts are common, such as ovarian cysts , Baker cysts and atheroma cysts . In general, cysts cause few problems, but you can experience problems as the cyst gets bigger. If the cyst becomes very annoying, you can choose to have it removed.
Symptoms of an atheroma cyst
An atheroma cyst has the following properties:
- One or more bumps of 0.5 to 3 cm.
- Round or oval and skin-colored.
- Is attached to the skin, but can be shifted relative to the underlying skin tissue.
- Occurs most frequently on the hairy head, face, chest and arms or legs.
Normally you do not suffer from an atheroma cyst. However, if the cyst becomes inflamed, you may suffer from it. Symptoms that may occur are:
- Increase in swelling
In addition, the bump can become more attached to the skin, so you can no longer shift it.
How does an atheroma cyst arise?
An atheroma cyst arises from a hair follicle, the sebaceous gland of which has been blocked by, for example, an inflammation. A sebaceous gland produces sebum, a type of fat that protects the skin and hair against dehydration and infections. If the sebaceous gland is blocked, the sebum can no longer come out and accumulates in the hair follicle.
The inside of the hair follicle is covered with skin cells. These skin cells divide and die over time, after which they release. Because of the blockage of the sebaceous gland, these skin cells cannot go outside. This causes the hair follicle to become clogged with more and more sebum and dead skin cells. This creates a lump under the skin: an atheroma cyst.
Remove atheroma cyst
An atheroma cyst can do no harm and, in principle, does not need to be treated. However, if the cyst is very large, if it is inflamed or if the cyst is in a disturbing place such as the face, you can have the atheroma cyst removed by your doctor, surgeon or a dermatologist . For this, the doctor first numbs your skin and then he or she carefully cuts away the cyst.
An atheroma cyst is located under the skin. Unlike a pimple, you cannot squeeze it. It is therefore best not to try to remove the cyst yourself. You run the risk that the cyst will become inflamed and that can cause a lot of pain.