Do you feel a smooth round lump under the skin on your scalp that you can move around? Likely a pilar cyst. These cysts originate out of a hair follicle and are filled with keratin. Although they can grow anywhere you have hair, most develop on the scalp because of its dense concentration. These cysts are also referred to as trichilemmal cysts or wens.
Pilar cysts are common benign growths, are most often found on the scalps of middle aged women, are slow growing and having more than one is not unusual. Occasionally, they proliferate or grow out of control. And very rarely will one become cancerous.
Pilar cysts typically cause no symptoms. However, it can burst and cause redness and tenderness. And once the site is open it can get infected.
Generally, treatment of a pilar cyst is not necessary. But the only way to rid your scalp of this bump is surgical removal. Pilar cyst removal can be done two ways. One method involves a small incision big enough so the entire contents can be pulled through all at once. Afterwards, the wound is stitched and a small scar may be left.
The other cyst removal method involves making a small punch hole through which the keratin contents can be drained and then the empty cyst sac is pulled through it. This process results in less bleeding and no scar. Punch hole removal treatment is primarily used on larger pilar cysts.