In rare cases, epidermoid cysts can give rise to basal and squamous cell skin cancers. Because this occurs so seldom, epidermoid cysts usually aren't biopsied unless they're solid, immobile, infected or have other unusual characteristics that suggest a more serious problem. Besides cancer, other complications include:

  • Inflammation. Epidermoid cysts can become tender and swollen, even if they're not infected. Inflamed cysts are difficult to remove, and your doctor is likely to postpone treating them until the inflammation subsides.
  • Rupture. A ruptured cyst often leads to a boil-like abscess that requires prompt treatment.
  • Infection. An epidermoid cyst can become infected spontaneously or after a rupture.
  • Genital discomfort. Genital epidermoid cysts can lead to painful intercourse and urination.
Jun. 07, 2011