Are you finding pilar cysts on your scalp? Never worry as the cysts cannot cause any fatal complications to your health. You can feel some discomfort while combing your hair. The cysts appear as bumps with flesh color on your scalp. In most cases, it occurs on the head scalp. It is prevalent on the lining of your hair follicles. You can feel the harmless bumps on your head. It does not cause any harm to your health. But, some people may remove it for cosmetic reasons. Do you wish to know more about the bumps? Then, read ahead to gain insight on the development of such cysts.
What Are Pilar Cysts?
Pilar cysts are round bumps that appear with a smooth texture. It appears firm when you touch them. In most cases, such cysts disappear without any medical treatment. A cyst refers to the small lump filled with pus or fluid. It usually develops underneath your skin. Cysts can occur in any place and mostly cause no harm. So, they can disappear on their own without any medical treatment. In most of the cases, you may not experience signs or symptoms associated with the cysts. Pilar cysts refer to the specific type cysts that usually grows around your hair follicles. Therefore, in the majority of the cases, it appears on your scalp.
The flesh-colored cysts have no cancerous cells in it. So, the benign cysts may not cause any problems to your health. It does not trigger any health complications. But, it can cause severe discomfort. You can damage your skin when you fail to maintain caution. You can break the cyst causing pus to ooze out. It can also put you at risk of infection. Therefore, you need to see a dermatologist to get a professional opinion. If you observe any bumps on your head, then see a doctor to eliminate the possibility of cysts. You can get the necessary assistance to deal with the problem better.
Causes Of Pilar Cysts
The cysts are also known as wens or trichilemmal cysts. Wens mostly occur on your scalp. It is due to the presence of keratin. You may have heard about keratin in shampoo advertisements. It is the type of protein present in the skin cells. It is responsible for keeping your skin as well as hair flexible and strong. In most cases, when the keratin cells die, they move to the surface of your skin. Ultimately, it drops off from the surface or you wash it away.
At times, the dead keratin cells may not wash off. Instead, it moves deep into your skin in the scalp. The cells multiply and develop into cysts with thick yellow or white pus. It can look like paste filled inside the cysts. If you feel uncomfortable due to the wens, then you can contact your dermatologist. The surgeon can remove the cyst easily. But, you need to know that it can reappear even after surgical removal. So, read ahead to know how you can remove it without causing any distress or complications.
Risks Associated With Pilar Cysts
Not everyone can develop wens. Only some people develop cysts due to certain factors. The following factors put you at risk of getting the Pilar cysts more compared to the others:
Genetics can play a major role in getting wen. If you have family members with the problem, then you tend to face more risk of developing the cysts. A child of affected parents has 50% more chance of developing wens compared to others.
The specific type of cyst is common among women compared to women.
Young or old people suffer from the problem less. It is more frequent in middle-aged adults.
Damaged/Injured Hair Follicles
Some people can develop wens due to injured skin in the scalp or due to damaged hair follicles. It is a risk factor that leads to the development of such cysts.
It is important to identify the problem early. Based on the severity of the issue, you can ask for tips from your doctor to deal with the problem effectively.
Identifying Pilar Cysts
You can experience bumps on your scalp due to different conditions. So, you need to distinguish between the different problems causing bumps. You can identify wens by monitoring the following factors:
Pilar cysts grow on the scalp surface. But, it can develop anywhere in the body. Some people can see the growth within the surface of the face and neck. In the majority of the cases, people end up having multiple cysts at the same time.
Wens can vary in size. The smallest cyst may resemble a quarter, while some can grow to the size of a small ball. So, it can measure from 0.5 cm to 5 cm. It does not develop overnight. It can occur gradually over a period of time. So, you may not notice the presence of the cysts until it reaches a specific size. The slow growth can lead to overlooking the cysts.
Pilar cysts appear to have the same color as your skin. The cysts appear round in shape. In some cases, the cysts can appear as a dome-shaped bump on the surface of your skin. The bumps have a smooth texture. But, they appear firm when you touch the bumps. Touching the bumps may not trigger any pain or discomfort. But, pressing it too hard can lead to pain or soreness. You can spot the bumps easily on your skin surface as no hair grows on the lump formed by the wens. So, it becomes easier to detect the bumps.
Complications Due To Pilar Cysts
Wens can occur only in 5-10% of the population. So, it is relatively uncommon. If you choose to ignore the problem, then you can experience some discomfort due to the problem. You can feel the firmness of the wens when you touch. But, the cysts filled with fluid can make it possible for it to move. So, when you press it, the lump tends to move slightly. Some people can experience the following complications due to cysts.
You feel soreness or pain when you touch the bump for some time. It can trigger uneasiness and discomfort. So, you will feel difficulty while combing or brushing your hair.
Danger Of Breaking
In most of the cases, the cysts can go away without any problem. However, you can face the danger of the cyst breaking or rupture. It can damage on its own or due to some trauma. The thick skin covering the wen can make it less likely to rupture. But, when you use brush or comb on the scalp surface, it increases the chances of breaking the skin. It can result in the breaking of the skin and leaking of pus. The leaking of the pus from the cysts can result in a rash, pain or irritation in the affected area.
In some cases, the cysts can trigger infection. So, you can experience severe pain at the affected site. You can also observe oozing from the site. The rupturing or damage to the cysts can put you at risk of the infection. Infection is also possible when your doctor makes an incision to remove it unsuccessfully. The infected area can become tender to touch with red color.
If you have large pilar cysts, then you need to see your doctor. The doctor can eliminate other possible reasons causing the bump. You can also get an effective treatment plan to overcome the problem with ease.
Diagnosing Pilar Cysts
You can self-diagnose the problem with the identifying steps offered above. You can also determine the individual risk factor based on the size of the cysts. But, you need to see your doctor for a conclusive diagnosis. It will eliminate the possibility of other dangerous health complications leading to the development of such lumps on your skin surface. You can visit your physician or a skin specialist (dermatologist). In normal cases, the cysts can cause no adverse effect on your health. But, it is essential to diagnose the problem rightly. So, the doctor can opt for the following diagnostic techniques to determine the problem:
The doctor first begins the diagnosis with a physical assessment of the lump. The dermatologist carefully examines the cysts. Pilar cysts have a distinctive appearance and size that your doctor can confirm with a visual inspection. You need to talk to your doctor about the additional symptoms you suffer and your medical history. It is to eliminate the possibility of other issues or come to a conclusive diagnosis.
If visual examination fails to offer a definitive diagnosis, then your doctor can suggest imaging tests. The imaging tests like CT scan can offer a clear picture of the cysts and surrounding tissues. It helps your doctor detect if the problem points to something more serious like cancer. The imaging tests can also help rule out other forms of cysts. So, the test can reveal the nature of the cysts and the apt treatment necessary.
If your doctor suspects the presence of cancerous cells in your cysts, then a biopsy can offer a conclusive diagnosis. So, the doctor removes a sample of the cyst and sends it to the lab for analysis. The sample is evaluated under a microscope to detect cancerous cells. Therefore, your doctor can rule out the presence of malignant cells.
The following diagnostic tools not only help detect the underlying issue but also look at the underlying layers of the cysts. So, it helps detect if any more cysts can develop in the future.
Treating Pilar Cysts
In the majority of the cases, pilar cysts can go away without any treatment. No specific treatment is necessary to make them disappear completely. But, you can take some steps to reduce the discomfort associated with the development of cysts. If the cysts do not trigger any other symptoms, then you may not seek treatment for the problem. See your doctor to know some of the tips to manage the problem. The doctor can suggest the following treatment options:
Placing a warm compress can reduce the swelling and discomfort associated with the cysts. You can even place a clean, warm washcloth on the affected area. It will help reduce the size of the cysts and ensure quick healing.
Treat With Antibiotics
In some cases, pilar cysts can trigger infection. You can experience pain and irritation due to the infection. So, your doctor prescribes antibiotics to treat the infection. It can kill the bacteria present in the affected cysts and prevent further infection.
Draining The Cysts
The pus collected inside the cyst can trigger some discomfort. So, your doctor can recommend draining the cysts. A small cut at the site of the bump can help drain the pus completely from the cyst. You need to take care of the cut to avoid infection or other problem. So, take care of the cut properly to help it heal completely.
Removing Pilar Cysts Surgically
In some cases, the cysts can trigger severe discomfort. Others suffering from the problem may feel embarrassed due to the development of cysts. In such cases, you can opt for invasive methods to remove pilar cysts. As the cyst forms on your scalp most of the time, you can catch one when brushing or hairdressing. It can lead to pain or rupturing of the cysts. The doctor can suggest surgical removal of the cysts due to agony triggered by the issue or for cosmetic reasons. Invasive surgery is also the ideal option for larger cysts.
Procedure To Remove Pilar Cysts
Do you wish to know the procedure for removing pilar cysts? Then, read ahead. Before performing the surgery, the affected person receives a local anesthetic. It is to numb the pain associated with the surgery. After giving the anesthetic, the doctor can remove the entire cysts without making any cuts on it. It is a quick procedure. To cover the wound, your doctor applies addressing. You need to take care of the dressing until the wound heals completely. So, you need to avoid the dressing getting wet and avoid touching the area. With proper care at home, the wound site can heal completely within a few days. The procedure is a quick one. Therefore, you never have to stay in the hospital or clinic for a long time.
Surgical removal is the most effective method to manage specific cysts. During the procedure, your doctor removes the epithelial lining underneath your hair follicle along with the cyst. So, the approach prevents keratin production that can result in developing bumps again. So, it prevents recurring cysts.
Post-Operative Care After Surgical Removal Of Pilar Cysts
Once your doctor removes pilar cysts from your scalp, you need to take good care of the wound. The surgery puts you at risk of infection and possible scarring. Therefore, manage the wound as per your doctor’s suggestion. Monitor for other complications like:
- Pus drainage
See your doctor immediately if you observe such signs. Your doctor can control the problems by prescribing oral antibiotics. It will eliminate the risk of infection and other complication. Remember, the surgery can leave a scar on the affected area.
Preventing Pilar Cysts
Is it possible to prevent pilar cysts? Well, you have no sure method to prevent the problem from occurring. But, people at risk of developing the problem can maintain caution. They can include some steps in their life to prevent the cysts from developing.
Control Oil In Scalp
An oily scalp can result in several hair problems including dandruff, wens, hair fall, etc. Therefore, you need to eliminate the oil from the scalp. You can follow the pointers suggested below to get an oil-free scalp:
Wash Your Scalp
The pores in the scalp secrete oil from the glands. So, it makes the scalp oily and greasy. You need to wash your hair at least thrice a week to avoid the oily scalp. Use a suitable product to wash your hair regularly. It will not only keep your scalp free from excess oil build-up but also keeps your hair healthy.
Use Shampoo Properly
You need to use shampoo correctly. So, before using it, dilute the shampoo with water. Gently massage the shampoo after lathering it up. You need to rinse the shampoo completely from the hair. So, ensure no product is left on your hair or on the scalp.
People with oily scalp need to watch their diet. Eating a balanced diet can prevent excess oil secretion in your scalp. Include omega-3 fatty acid supplements to strengthen your hair and avoid excess secretion of oil in the scalp.
Avoid Using Heat Tools
Using heat tools can damage your hair. The use of heat tools can make your hair weak and increase oil secretion in your scalp. So, opt for non-heat styling option to avoid complications in the future.
Avoid Head Scratching
Head scratching is a natural reaction. But, excess scratching can damage your hair. it also results in wounds, scabs, and excessive damage to the scalp. It makes you prone to infections and other problems. When you scratch your scalp, it can make the scalp dry. It is due to the lack of moisture of the outer layer of the skin. Therefore, the condition results in weak skin on your scalp.
You cannot prevent the development of the cysts on your scalp successfully. But, the above-mentioned tips can help you avoid the problem to a certain extent.
Pilar cysts in most cases cause no harm to you. It does not trigger any serious complications. If you feel severe discomfort due to the cysts, then you can consult your doctor for removing it. Even when the cysts cause no bother to you, constant monitoring can avoid other complications. You need to consult your doctor if you notice any changes. Anything outside the normal growth and development of pilar cysts can indicate something serious. It is due to the fact that some wens can have a cancerous presence in it. So, it can grow and multiply at an alarming rate, putting your life at risk. You need surgical intervention to manage the problem. Therefore, you need to consult your doctor to assess the problem and find a suitable treatment plan.View Article Sources