Cysts typically develop on the face and the back but may occur on the scalp too. A cyst on the scalp is a lump on the skin that slowly increases in diameter and may have unpleasant odor. Cysts on the scalp are also known as sebaceous cysts. These cysts are very common and may cause hair loss in the area. Middle aged women are most commonly affected.
Causes of Cyst on Scalp
Cysts on the scalp are benign pimple-like bumps that usually cause no problems or pain. If many of these elevated structures form, the scalp may have foul smell. It appears that cysts on the scalp may form due to improper hair care. This causes accumulation of dirt in the hair follicle which may lead to development of a cyst.
Also, a cyst on the scalp may develop after an injury to the skin. Other possible causes of these cysts include excess production of testosterone, inflammation of the hair follicle, ruptured sebaceous gland or genetic factor such as Gardner’s syndrome. People with family history of cysts on scalp are also susceptible to this condition.
Symptoms of Cyst on Scalp
A cyst on the scalp or pilar cyst may cause mild to moderate hair loss in the affected area of the head. However, the cyst rarely leaves a bald patch on the scalp. Cysts on the scalp do not cause pain unless they become inflamed. Also, they are typically white but in case of inflammation these cysts may appear red.
A cyst on the scalp can cause itching and an affected person usually has a need to scratch the head frequently. Cysts on the scalp are typically small but tend to gradually increase in size. Therefore, they often go unnoticed. A large cyst on the scalp rarely develops. In general, pilar cysts are non-cancerous but in extreme rare cases they may become malignant. Sometimes, multiple cysts on the head may be present.
Treatment for Cyst on Scalp
Often, a cyst on scalp resolves on its own. However, medical treatments to remove a sebaceous cyst on the scalp are available. This scalp problem can be treated with herbal shampoos that are specially designed for this purpose. Antibiotics can be used when the cyst gets infected. Warm compresses can also be helpful.
Also, cysts on the scalp can be surgically removed if necessary. The procedure is done under local anesthetic. A surgical removal of a cyst often leaves a small scar. Sometimes, the cyst may reaper on the operated site but it can be removed again.