Incidental Squamous Cell Carcinoma in an Epidermal Inclusion Cyst: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Case Rep Dermatol. 2018 Mar 22;10(1):61-68. doi: 10.1159/000487794. eCollection 2018 Jan-Apr.


Epidermal inclusion cysts are common lesions that rarely develop into squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Neoplastic change in these cysts can be associated with prominent symptoms such as pain, rapid growth, or ulceration. This study describes the case of a 64-year-old woman with a 4-year history of a largely asymptomatic neck mass, which after routine excision was found to be an epidermal inclusion cyst harboring well-differentiated SCC. The diagnosis was made incidentally after routine cyst bisection and hematoxylin and eosin staining. Given the potential for variable presentation and low cost of hematoxylin and eosin analysis, we recommend a low threshold for a comprehensive pathological search for malignancy in excised cysts when appropriate.

Keywords: Cutaneous cyst; Epidermal cyst; Inclusion cyst; Malignant transformation; Squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports