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Until a few minutes ago, I was blissfully ignorant of the body’s ability to emit a thick, white spoiled cheese-like substance that, when pinched delicately enough, blooms like a cursed rose from the depths of its pustule. Those were more innocent times, and I remember them fondly.
Thanks to this latest installment from the Instagram account of Dr. Sandra Lee—aka Dr. Pimple Popper—I am now fully cognizant of the existence of epidermoid cysts, where they tend to be located, and what
horrors they contain.
What Are Epidermoid Cysts?
According to the Mayo Clinic, epidermoid cysts are usually noncancerous and pretty much harmless, so they’re nothing to freak out over. They can appear anywhere on the “face, neck, and trunk.” Earlier this year, for instance, Dr. Lee shared a whimsically titled YouTube video of an epidermoid cyst growing on someone’s scalp.
In addition to redness, swelling, and tenderness in the area being pretty common, however, “drainage from the cyst will appear grayish-white and cheese-like,”—yep, checks out—”and will have a foul smell,” according to the Cleveland Clinic. Happy you asked?
How Do You Treat an Epidermoid Cyst?
Most of the time, you… don’t, according to Healthline. Stick it out, and your body’s natural defenses will take care of the problem. But if the pain persists—or worsens—you can be prescribed antibiotics to help expedite healing or, as evidenced above, you can see a dermatologist to have it drained.
As the Mayo Clinic points out, though, this shortcut method can increase the likelihood that the cyst will return. Whatever you do, they caution, just don’t try and squeeze it into oblivion yourself—unlike the video above, nobody will want to see the results of that.