Atheroma of the skin: mechanisms of development, symptoms and treatment

Atheroma is a benign neoplasm on the skin, which
appears due to blockage of the sebaceous glands. Actually
Atheroma is a sebaceous cyst. The term “atheroma” consists of
two parts and translated from Greek as atheroma, athera –
gruel and oma – a tumor. Atheroma is a capsular
education that has a round shape and clear boundaries.
The capsule can be filled with a viscous white liquid or
creative gruel. Atheroma content is keratin protein,
having an unpleasant smell of spoiled cheese.

Most often, atheroma is formed on areas of the skin where
concentrated sebaceous glands. These sites are:
face, neck, scalp and torso. Atheroma can
reach large sizes from 5 to 7cm and more. If the tumor
large size is localized on the face, it is a defect
appearance and brings the patient suffering of a psychological nature.
Atheroma at rest at an early stage of formation does not cause
no subjective sensations: no pain, no itching and no
has no signs of skin atrophy.


  • Development mechanisms
  • Symptoms and types of atheroma
  • Diagnosis of the disease
  • Atheroma treatment
  • Prediction and prevention of the disease

Development mechanisms

Atheroma is formed due to blockage of the sebaceous duct,
which can be:

  • internal;
  • external.

Internal blockage of the sebaceous gland may result from
metabolic disorders in the body. External blockage more often
the whole is the result of non-compliance with the norms of the individual
hygiene. Atheromas in the genital area in both men and
women may arise precisely for this reason.


Thus, the causes that can cause blockage of sebaceous
channel following:

  • concentration of a secret and violation of its release;
  • disorders in the development of the sebaceous gland;
  • apoplexy (rupture) of the sebaceous gland;
  • inflammatory processes of the sebaceous gland;
  • defect of the hair bulb with its complete blockage
  • squeezing sebaceous gland damage
  • atheroma formation in Gardner syndrome (a rare hereditary

There are also a number of factors that can indirectly provoke
development of atheroma:

  • the presence of acne;
  • hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating);
  • damage to the skin;
  • failure of the hormonal system;
  • UV irradiation of the skin;
  • non-compliance with personal hygiene;
  • use of low quality doubtful cosmetics

Symptoms and types of atheroma

Atheroma develops under the skin or above the skin, has a dense
consistency and smooth surface. She has the ability to shift
together with the skin. Sometimes on the surface of atheroma appears dense
the capsule head, which is the sebaceous gland duct.
At the initial stage of the disease clearly pronounced symptoms
missing. In cases of tumor growth, atheroma becomes inflamed:
becomes dense, painful, greatly increased in size,
hyperemic, acquiring a cherry – purple shade. This
pathology is single, but in some cases there are
multiple education.

At the place of localization there are two types of atheroma:

  • an atheroma that has formed on the scalp or
    as it is also called follicular cyst;
  • atheroma or epidermal cyst.

Follicular cyst is more common in women after 40 years.
The favorite site of localization is the scalp. Tumor
has a size of 5 cm or more, dense texture, and smooth
surface. Sometimes multiple formations develop. With
large size of atheroma hair loss occurs at the site of her
formation. The top layer of the cyst is so thin that through it
peeps capsule filled with keratin. In case of injury
follicular cyst there is a severe inflammation that
accompanied by severe pain and the formation of purulent masses.


Atheroma on smooth skin or epidermal cyst occurs in
a result of blockage of the sebaceous glands of the epithelium (tissue covering
surface of body cavities) We can say that this type of atheroma
is the most common skin neoplasm. Atheroma on
smooth skin occurs predominantly in people in young and
middle age. Epidermal cyst is characterized by
the appearance on the skin of a small subcutaneous or percutaneous nodule,
which is an accumulation of keratin and sebum.

Diagnosis of the disease

Diagnosis of the disease is not difficult, since
atheroma has a characteristic feature in the form of an extended channel
the sebaceous gland, which appears through the upper layer of the skin.
The doctor – dermatologist diagnoses the disease, based on
clinical examination of the patient. Differential diagnosis is carried out
with the following pathologies: lipoma, fibroma and hygroma. When
need to conduct additional histological examination
tissue atheroma.

Atheroma treatment

Treatment of atheroma consists in removing it surgically.
The incision is performed directly above the tumor, removed first.
queue its contents. And then the entire tumor is removed along with
capsule. The essence of the method is that capture
round skin over atheroma followed by “taking out”
tumors. After sutures are applied, which are removed for 5-7 days after
operations. It is not recommended to swim and water during 48 hours
wound. In the following days, the wound is treated and the bandage is changed.
bandage. In the case of localization of atheroma on the scalp,
clipping a small amount of hair that matches
the size of the tumor itself.

It is believed that atheroma can be removed without surgical
intervention, which is not at all true. It is necessary
remove completely atheroma, besides remove the capsule, and do it
without a skin incision impossible. Incomplete removal of the tumor or
partial removal of the capsule threatens to relapse.

It is also removed by atheroma using the method of laser destruction and
radio wave method. These methods help to completely remove
atheroma and dissect a capsule from adjacent tissue with minimal
trauma and blood loss. The tumor is evaporated by laser in case
laser therapy and evaporated with a radio wave knife when using
radio wave method. If atheroma is small, then
apply the method of laser therapy. This method is
quick, effective and painless. The laser vaporizes the tumor and
destroys her capsule.

Radio wave removal of the tumor is the safest method of removal
atheroma. The essence of the method is to use high-frequency radio waves.
the frequencies by which the tissue is cut. Then
the heat generated causes tissue heating and the tumor evaporates.

Prediction and prevention of the disease

The prognosis of this disease is favorable. Main
the prevention of the disease is hygiene, because
Atheroma occurs most often on oily skin prone to acne.
rash. Therefore it is necessary to regularly clean the skin of the face and head.
means that help reduce fat. Also
need to control the work of the sweat glands with
drugs that eliminate excessive sweating. Take regularly
shower, bath, make cleansing body peeling. Must be observed
a diet with limited fats, sugars, salt and spices.

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