A Pilar Cyst by Any Other Name . . .

December 31, 2006

I noticed that “Sebaceous Cyst” was used as the title of arecent Photoclinic case, contributed by Drs Leslie, Hillel,and Shlomo Trope (CONSULTANT, June 2004, page 1025)(Figure).

I noticed that "Sebaceous Cyst" was used as the title of arecent Photoclinic case, contributed by Drs Leslie, Hillel,and Shlomo Trope (CONSULTANT, June 2004, page 1025)(Figure). The correct term is "pilar cyst." A pilar cyst is acutaneous (epidermal) cyst, a keratin-filled inclusion thatarises from within a hair follicle. "Sebaceous cyst" is, infact, synonymous with the layman's term "wen" and doesnot signify the formal diagnosis of epidermal inclusion cystor pilar cyst. Although the entity is commonly referred to asa "sebaceous cyst," there is no sebaceous gland involvement.-- Terri Bianchi, ND, ARNP
   Ormond Beach, Fla
I agree with your comment that the term "sebaceouscyst" may be a misnomer. However, it is a well-recognizedterm that continues to be widely used as a synonymfor "pilar cyst" in the medical literature.-- Leslie Trope, MD
   Fort Lauderdale, Fla