A cyst is a closed sac that may be filled with air, semi-solid material or fluids. Though a majority of these may be benign in nature, they could be symptomatic or asymptomatic. The ones that are malignant are a cause of serious concern. Most of the time though, these do not get converted into tumors or cancers of any sort. Cysts on the head can be painful at times.
The most common type of a cyst on the head is a lipoma which is also known as a benign tumor of adipose tissue. It is actually heavy, due to the lump of fat, but it is normally painless. Besides that, here are the reasons behind the development of cysts.
These are tumors that contain the mature skin and covering of hair follicles and/or sweat glands. They can also be called pilar cysts, which can be found under the skin containing skin breakdown products like keratin, which is present in hair, nails, teeth, and bones. They are benign and may also be congenital. Very rarely do they get converted into malignant tumors in adults and cause squamous cell carcinoma and endodermal sinus tumors in children.
Also called sebaceous cysts, these are present on the surface of the skin. They develop out of ectodermal tissues and are made of squamous epithelium. These appear as a result of faulty implantation of the epidermis into the dermis, due to surgery or any kind of trauma. Such cysts are observed in medical conditions like Gardener's syndrome and could also be infected by bacteria and/or acne.
Preauricular sinus is also called a skin tag, which is actually a small tubular structure located at the meeting point of the upper part of the ear and the head. Due to some infection or trauma, the sinus may get infected and develop pus, though it may also be the result of any kind of regular sinus infection.
Though referred to 'neck lumps', these cysts can appear anywhere from the top of the head to the bottom of the neck as well as on the collarbones as well. There are several conditions such as enlarged lymph nodes, thyroglossal duct cysts, and branchial cleft cysts that may be categorized under neck lumps. They are also caused by embryologic errors, or bacterial infections.
This is the most severe type of acne that can develop on the scalp as well as all over the body. These are caused by the blockage of oil ducts and infection of the same. They can be hereditary, or caused by various infectious skin diseases as well. Drug therapy proves beneficial in the treatment.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If one develops a cyst on the head, it is very important to visit a health care provider for ascertaining the underlying cause. There are several diagnostic measures and tests that the health care provider might perform to evaluate the cause and also to determine the course of treatment for the same. Several tests like a CT scan, MRI scan, and other examinations are performed, after which the exact course of treatment is determined. Treatment can vary from antibiotics, surgical removal, marsupialization, and dissolution.
Though these cysts are normally benign, it is important to evaluate the reasons behind the development of such cysts. Once the underlying cause is determined, drug therapy and other treatment options can be followed for getting rid of them.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for information purpose only. Do not use the information presented herein as a substitute for medical practitioner's advice.