FAEG (AUS), Dip. Dermoscopy, Dip Cosmetic medicine (NZSCM)

Dip. Skin Cancer Medicine and Surgery (SCCA)




Epidermoid and Pilar Cysts Sebaceous

Epidermoid and pilar cysts are commonly referred to as ‘sebaceous cysts’ (pronounced ‘seb-ay-shuss’). They are overgrowths of skin cells (called keratin) held together in a little capsule, or sac. They are harmless smooth lumps just under the surface of the skin. They are not cancerous and do not require removal unless they are bothering you by the look or the feel of them. They can occur almost anywhere in the body, but are commonly found on the back or scalp.

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The nail becomes ingrown when the side of the nail cuts into the skin next to the nail. This can become painful. The skin next to the nail may also become infected or inflamed. Any toe can be affected but it is usually the big toe. It is a common problem, especially in teenagers and young adults. However, ingrown toenails can also occur in babies or toddlers.

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Eye with upper eyelid chalazion

Cross-section diagram of an eye with chalazion in the upper eyelid

A chalazion is a small (2-8 mm) fluid-filled swelling (cyst) in the eyelid. It is common and sometimes called a meibomian cyst or tarsal cyst. A chalazion is more common on the upper eyelid. It is possible to have several at once, in more than one eyelid. It is not the same as a stye.

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A lipoma is a non-cancerous (benign) fatty lump that usually causes no symptoms or problems. Most lipomas are small and are best left alone. However, a lipoma that develops under the skin can sometimes look unsightly. If required, it can be removed by a simple operation done under local anaesthetic.

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Warts and Verrucas

Warts are usually harmless but may be unsightly. Warts on the feet are called verrucas (or verrucae) and are sometimes painful. Warts and verrucas usually clear in time without treatment. If required, they can often be cleared more quickly with treatment. Most commonly, treatment involves applying salicylic acid or freezing with liquid nitrogen or a cold spray.

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Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses on the feet are thickened areas of skin that can become painful. They are caused by excessive pressure or rubbing (friction) on the skin and can lead to foot problems, especially on walking. The common cause is wearing ill fitting shoes. A person who is qualified to diagnose and treat foot disorders (a podiatrist) can cut away (pare) corns and calluses and can advise on footwear, shoe inserts and padding to prevent recurrences.

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