Diagnosis

Doctors can usually make a diagnosis by looking at the cyst. Your doctor may also scrape off skin cells and examine them under a microscope or take a skin sample (biopsy) for detailed analysis in the laboratory.

Epidermoid cysts look like sebaceous cysts, but they're different. True epidermoid cysts result from damage to hair follicles or the outer layer of skin (epidermis).

Aug. 02, 2017
References
  1. Goldstein BG, et al. Overview of benign lesions of the skin. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 3, 2017.
  2. Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Benign epithelial tumors, hamartomas and hyperplasias. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed April 3, 2017.
  3. Bolognia JL, et al., eds. Cysts. In: Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 3, 2017.
  4. Higgins JC, et al. Diagnosing common benign skin tumors. American Family Physician. 2015;92:601.
  5. Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 7, 2017.