What are dermoid cysts?
A dermoid cyst is a collection of tissue under the skin. It may contain hair follicles, oil, and sweat glands. In some cases it may contain bone, teeth, or nerves. A dermoid cyst may appear at birth or soon after. Dermoid cysts are often found on the head, neck, or face, most often around the eyes. They can also occur on other parts of the body.
What causes a dermoid cyst?
A dermoid cyst is present from birth (congenital). It happens when the skin layers don't grow together as they should. This happens during the early stages of a baby's development in the uterus.
What are the symptoms of a dermoid cyst?
A dermoid cyst looks like a small lump under the skin. The skin over the lump can easily be moved. The lump may be skin-colored, or may have a slight blue color. The symptoms of a dermoid cyst can seem like other health conditions. Have your child see his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How is a dermoid cyst diagnosed?
Your child’s healthcare provider will often diagnose a dermoid cyst based on what it looks like and where it is. He or she will look at the cyst and the nearby area. Your child may need imaging tests to find out if the cyst is connected to other tissue in the head and neck. Tests may include:
· X-ray. This test gives images of the head, neck, face, or other area where the cyst is located.
· CT scan. X-ray and a computer are used to make detailed images of any part of the body.
· MRI. Large magnets, radio waves, and a computer make detailed images of organs and structures in the body.
How is a dermoid cyst treated?
The most common treatment is surgery to remove the cyst. Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
What are possible complications of a dermoid cyst?
Depending on where the cyst is located, it can cause problems. For example, a dermoid cyst near the eye may affect your child’s eyesight. But this is uncommon. Cysts also can:
· Damage nearby bone
· Cause infections
· Make a child feel embarrassed or uncomfortable