A healthy skin on either the face or body is certainly everyone’s dream. Aside from making a person look younger, it also helps with self-esteem by giving a good appearance. However, this is not the case for everyone. There are many abnormalities or disorders causing the skin to appear different than other people or impose worries. Medicine nowadays may actually help to solve these issues and regain the normal healthy skin. In this article, we will be focusing on a skin disorder called pilar cysts.

            Pilar cyst also known as trichilemmal cyst are cyst that are formed around the hair follicle. Pilar cyst happens when the old skin cells and keratin accumulate under the skin. A cyst is a lump filled with fluid that appears below the skin. This fluid is made up of keratin, skin (epithelial) cells and the breakdown product typically found in the root sheath of the hair follicle. Typically, it does not signify any sign of serious condition such as cancer or malignancy. Usually, it is harmless and affects less than 10% of the population. Younger people are much prone to develop pilar cyst and often in women compared to men. Family history does play higher chances for a person to get pilar cyst as it is considered an inheritance disease. A person will have a high risk for this cyst when the skin of the scalp or hair follicle is damaged.

            What does a pillar cysts actually look like? It usually appears as flesh-coloured bump or lump seen on the skin with a round shape. Upon touch, it is firm and has a smooth surface. Although most of this cyst occurs on the scalp that line the hair follicle, it can also be found on the head, neck and face. Pilar cysts can appear in multiple sizes ranging from a pea to centimetres long. The cysts take time to grow due to its very slow rate and often need several years to appear visible. When it is infected, it can turn to red and become sore or tender. Sometimes, even foul-smelling pus can be present from the cyst once it gets infected. An infected cyst can lead to painful abscess.

            Just like any other lump or bump on the body, it is best for a person to actually seek medical advice. It is more advisable to meet a healthcare professional if a person suspected the cyst has been infected. Prescription of antibiotics may help to subside the infection and provide some relief. Sometimes a healthcare professional may do a wound swab and culture sensitivity test on the inflamed cyst to get a clearer picture of the infection and treatment. The main treatment for the pilar cysts is surgery. The surgery procedure involves getting rid of the cyst and its wall to avoid it from coming back. At times, samples are to be taken and sent to the laboratory for identifying the content of the cyst.  This is because there are still 3% of pilar cysts that might actually develop to aggressive state or a proliferating trichilemmal cysts, even though it is very rare. If a person is confirmed for a proliferating trichilemmal cyst, he or she may need more than one surgical removal procedure alongside radiation therapy with or without chemotherapy to exterminate the cyst.

            The good news is, most cases do not even need specific medical care. A pilar cyst may actually not cause any problem and best to be left by itself. You can help to ease the pillar cyst by pressing it with warm compression to help reduce inflammation. Never attempt to burst the cyst as doing so may increase chances of spreading the infection and does not even stop the growth of the cysts.