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What causes cysts on the head?

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Quick Answer

One cause of cysts on the face and scalp is inflammation of a hair follicle, also known as folliculitis. This type of cyst can sometimes be identified by the presence of a hair follicle at its center, according to WebMD. Folliculitis is more common in diabetics, people who are severely overweight and individuals with a compromised immune system.

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Full Answer

Folliculitis can be the result of an infected hair follicle, or it can occur when the follicle is irritated either by exposure to a chemical or due to physical abrasion such as with a shaving razor. It can occur on any area of the skin where hair grows. Initially the inflamed follicle forms a small infected bump or pustule that can sometimes develop into a larger more painful cyst, states Medicine Net. Treatment for folliculitis typically requires the use of a topical or oral antibiotic or an antifungal medication, depending on the cause of the inflammation. Larger cysts sometimes require surgical drainage.

To prevent further damage to hair follicles in an affected area, friction should be reduced when possible by avoiding contact with clothing and ceasing to shave around the inflamed follicle until the condition clears. The skin should also be kept clean, and if shaving is necessary, a new clean razor should be used to avoid exacerbating the condition, according to WebMD.

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