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Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: small hard bump on back...what is it?

 nelly145 - Sun Jun 25, 2006 3:12 pm

I am 21/female, in good health with no family history of any skin conditions. About 3 weeks ago, I noticed a small, hard lump on my lower back. It is like a huge zit that is deep under the skin but won't come to a head. It doesn't hurt much, and it won't pop as it is fairly hard. It does not have much color to it. It does not seem to be diminishing in size either. I am worried about skin cancer, does this sound consistent with it or could it be something else? Thank you!
 Theresa Jones, RN - Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:03 pm

User avatar Hi nelly145,
Your description doesn't sound consistent with typical signs or symptoms of skin cancer. However, I would encourage an evaluation to identify if this is a presence of a type of, ie.,cyst etc.
Theresa Jones, RN
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:03 pm

Your description is suggestive of an epidermal inclusion cyst (EIC) which is also known as an epidermoid cyst. EIC is a smooth, skin-colored or whitish spherical lump buried within the skin which grows slowly over time and may periodically drain, extruding a substance which has an offensive odor.

Common sites are the back, head and neck. It may be confused with a lipoma which is usually softer, less well defined and has no head. I agree with Theresa Jones that it is unlikely to be malignant, but show it to a dermatologist for an evaluation. Please come back and tell us the findings.

Dr Anthony Solomon
Consultant Physician, Tropical & Genitourinary Medicine


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