What is the pathophysiology of epidermal inclusion cysts (EIC)?

Updated: Sep 17, 2020
  • Author: Linda J Fromm, MD, MA, FAAD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Epidermoid cysts result from the proliferation of epidermal cells within a circumscribed space of the dermis. Analysis of their lipid pattern demonstrates similarities to the epidermis. In addition, epidermoid cysts express cytokeratins 1 and 10, which are constituents of the suprabasilar layers of the epidermis. The source of this epidermis is nearly always the infundibulum of the hair follicle, as evidenced by the observation that the lining of the 2 structures is identical. [15]

Inflammation is mediated in part by the horny material contained in epidermoid cysts. Extracts of this material have been shown to be chemotactic for polymorphonucleocytes.


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