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Atheroma – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Friday, June 15th 2012. | Health Condition, Tumor

What is Atheroma?

Atheroma is a benign tumor of the subcutaneous tissue. Sometimes also referred to as epidermoid cyst (epidermis = skin = cyst cavity located in an abnormal organ or tissue).

This is a growing accumulation of sebum and skin cells. Atheromas are generally located on the scalp, face, neck, between the abdomen and neck, but also at the private parts and other areas. The term “tumor” is not synonymous with cancer: atheroma is Benin.

Warning: include reference to the atheromata cholesterol deposits, calcium and other cells of the vessel wall occurs within the context of arteriosclerosis. This phenomenon has nothing to do with a tumor of the skin.

Causes of Atheroma

Sebum, which has a protective function of the skin, is secreted by the sebaceous glands in the subcutaneous tissue. It is unclear why lipid, cholesterol crystals and skin cells accumulate to form a nodule. It may possibly be a genetic predisposition, which disrupts the skin development. Atheroma only becomes painful when inflamed, that is to say when bacteria enter it (eg., When the patient tries to push the knot itself).

Symptoms of Atheroma

No flaming, atheroma occurs only in a nodule or under the skin. The overlying skin has a normal appearance. If the atheroma becomes inflamed, the following symptoms :

  • The nodule becomes red and painful.
  • The area around the nodule is pressure sensitive.
  • Eventually, sebum, pus or blood flow of the nodule.

Examinations (diagnosis)

In most cases, atherosclerosis can be diagnosed by a detailed inspection of the skin and palpation of the nodule, without further examination. As some potentially dangerous thickening may resemble atheroma, the diagnosis should be entrusted to a specialist (dermatologist).

If the nodule is surgically resected, the resected tissue must, in all cases, the subject of a histological (tissue) to confirm its benign nature.

Treatment  of Symptoms of Atheroma

Dermatologists advise against pressing himself atheroma, which may increase the risk of infection.

Atheroma can only be totally resected through a small surgical procedure, usually performed under local anesthesia. The cyst is then opened while the atheroma is extracted using a specific instrument.

By cons, the formation of new atheroma on other areas of healthy skin can not be avoided in susceptible individuals.

Possible Complications

The most common complication and most important is the infection of atheroma. Inflamed atheroma should be treated with antibiotics to dempêcher extension name of the infection to healthy skin.

“Maturation” of the abscess may be promoted by infrared light, by the application of a blister ointment or by other methods. Surgical resection can only take place when the abscess is mature. Generally, a small second surgery is necessary, when the inflammation has decreased, in order to resect the cyst wall.


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