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Pediatric Dermoid Cysts


Generally, a cyst is a closed sac with an intact covering that is distinct (or separated) from the nearby tissues. These sacs may vary in size and may contain a variety of body fluids or tissues. The number of different kinds of cysts that can occur in children is quite large. In general, most of these cysts are benign (doesn’t threaten health or life) and slow growing. The most common type of cyst seen in pediatric patients is dermoid cysts.

A dermoid cyst is a mature cystic teratoma (slow growing tumor) that contains structures characteristic of normal skin. In pediatric patients, dermoid cysts are small discreet masses that occur most commonly in the head and neck, especially near the lateral eyebrow ( side of the eyebrow).

The only reliable treatment for dermoid cysts is surgery to remove it. Dermoid cysts often contain both a cyst wall and a central mass of cheese-like material. This material is often viscous or thick and is not well treated by aspiration (insertion of a needle). In order to fully remove the cyst, surgical excision and removal of all components of the cyst is generally required.

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