What is a Pilar Cyst?
A pilar cyst, also known as a trichilemmal cyst, is most often located on the scalp and occurs in 5-10% of the population. Women tend to be affected slightly more then men, and there is a strong genetic correlation. It originates from the outer hair root sheath and is filled with keratin, the protein that makes up hair and nails. Unlike Epidermal Inclusion Cysts (EIC) that are filled with sebaceous material and are commonly located on the face or body, these cysts do not have a central opening and are less likely to become inflamed. Although they are benign, they can become quite large and bothersome and rarely resolve without treatment. Therefore, many patients prefer to have them removed.
Pilar Cyst Treatment
Like any lesions on the scalp, removal with a regular scalpel can result in significant bleeding and therefore incomplete removal of the cyst. By using the Ultrapulse Co2 Laser, we can cut and cauterize simultaneously, minimizing bleeding. The laser creates an incision that exposes the cyst, and then the lining and contents can often be removed completely intact. Rarely is there any recurrence. However, because of their genetic predisposition, more may develop overtime that may need to be removed.