Epidermoid cyst

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Author: Mikael Häggström [notes 1]
Generally presents as a skin cyst. Also known as epidermal inclusion cyst (EIC) and sebaceous cyst.

Microscopic evaluation

Epidermoid cyst

Typical findings:[1]

  • Stratified squamous epithelium with a granular layer
  • Cyst wall does not contain eccrine glands, sebaceous glands or hair follicles
  • Abundant keratin flakes in cyst lumen
  • Often giant cell granuloma in ruptured cysts, similar to foreign body granuloma

Further workup

Look for signs of cyst rupture, which may manifest as inflammation, including granulomas and microabscesses.


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  1. V. Claire Vaughan, M.D., Joshua Wisell, M.D.. Skin nonmelanocytic tumor - Cysts - Epidermal (epidermoid) type. pathology Outlines. Topic Completed: 9 May 2019. Revised: 13 December 2019