Dermoid Cyst

What is a Dermoid cyst?

Dermoid cyst or mature cystic teratomas are bizarre tumors that are benign in nature and are present from the birth. Having a sac-like growth, it contains structures like hair, bones, skin, mass, teeth, fluid, etc. present in or on the skin. These cysts appear from a totipotential germ cell (a primary oocyte) which originates from the ovary. Due to its totipotential nature, it gives rise to mature tissue cells and some structures mentioned above.

Cyst v/s Facial Growth

It is crucial for every person to know the primary difference between a cyst and other facial growth before removal of a superficial dermoid cyst on the face.

  • A person should notice the cyst during early adulthood or during childhood as the cyst is present from birth
  • Until and unless the cyst is ruptured, it remains firm and painless
  • Cyst remains detached to the skin lying above

Types of Dermoid cyst

The type of dermoid cyst depends upon the location of the cyst:

  • Cutaneous Dermoid Cyst (Under the skin): Mostly present in or on the surface of the face or near the face on the eyebrows, near the collarbone or on the scalp. It looks like a sac that contains tissues and sometimes forms a mass.
  • Dermoid Cyst in the Naval Sinuses: The cyst may rarely occur here but its removal process is complicated and the cost is high.
  • Periorbital Dermoid Skin (Near the eyes): They occur due to the sequestration of embryonic epithelium which is present in the orbital bones, along with the suture lines.
  • Dermoid cyst in the Brain: It is a very rare location where the cyst occurs and should be removed by neurosurgeon during extreme conditions.
  • Ovarian Dermoid Cyst (Within the Ovaries): Here, the cyst can be located on the ovary or in the ovary and these grow during the reproductive. They cause rupture, twisting, infection and even cancer and can be removed by conventional surgery or laparoscopy.
  • Spinal Dermoid Cyst: (in the spinal cord): It is non-cancerous and usually acts as a connection between the rare cysts to the skin. It pressurizes the spinal cord and is painful which should be removed

Causes of Dermoid Cyst

These cysts are a congenital disability that is caused due to the trap or inefficient in-growth of skin during fetal development. The cysts are connected with epithelium that contains mature tissues and structured cells like sweat glands, hair follicle and sebaceous. The secretions of these glands accumulate and form a cyst that grows with more precipitation.

Symptoms of Dermoid Cyst

The cyst may or may not have visible symptoms. But in case of children, the symptoms may vary from a child to another. Few common symptoms among adults are:

  • Lower back pain, depending on the location of the cyst
  • Dysuria (difficulty during urination)
  • Pain during intimation
  • Pain during menstrual cycle which is worse than usual conditions
  • Unexpected weight gain
  • Sickness or nausea
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Visible small skin colored lump

Dermoid Cyst Diagnosis

The cyst can be examined physically, but the skin needs some imaging tests that may include:

  • CT Scan
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound

Treatment for Dermoid Cyst

In case of children, some treatments depend on various factors like:

  • Age &medical history
  • Tolerance
  • Extent of the condition
  • Expectation for the situation
  • Parents opinion or preference

Home Remedies

Self-removal of facial cysts is never recommended because a person may or may not understand whether it is a harmless growth or a significant skin issue. Doing so may increase the chance of infection, bleeding and other complicated problems.

Medical Treatment

Medically, the area of the cyst should be cleaned first and then local anesthesia should be given followed by an incision over the cyst to remove all the dirt and other follicles. To heal, necessary medications should be prescribed. But if the cyst is inside the body, like ovary, it has to be removed surgically.

Natural Treatments for Dermoid Cyst

Few natural treatments can also be used to cure-

  • Garlic paste with margosa leaves
  • Tea tree oil


The prognosis is useful if the diagnosis and treatment of dermoid cyst are done in early stages because it has fewer chances of having further complications. Patients who have been through carcinomatous transformation, the prognosis depends on the malignant disease stage (spreading or locally limited) and therapy success.

Death of a person due to a cyst or a ruptured cyst cannot be possible, but ruptured skin can cause specific neurologic complications like secondary spinal subdural abscesses.


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