Atheroma is a benign neoplasm in the area of the sebaceous gland, caused by obstruction of the sebaceous glands of the skin, usually has a rounded shape, a clear boundary. Atheroma often painless.
Atheroma is a blocked and dilated sebaceous gland. It is usually formed in the area of the skin rich in sebaceous glands – in the area of the scalp or on the face, on the neck, body, in the genital area. It can reach significant sizes from 5 mm to 5-7 cm or more, which causes cosmetic defects in appearance. The people of atheroma are usually called wen.
The causes of atheroma can be:
- damage to the hair follicle with blocking outflow of secretions,
- thickening of the secret and violation of its allocation,
- rupture of the sebaceous gland in inflammatory diseases,
- defects in the development of the sebaceous glands,
- injuries of sebaceous glands (squeezing acne, scratches, cuts).
- the occurrence of an athero with Gardner syndrome (a rare hereditary pathology).
- Risk factors for atheromas are considered:
- male gender, due to more oily skin and structural features of the sebaceous glands,
- the presence of acne or pre-existing skin problems,
- excessive exposure to sunlight on the skin,
- skin microtrauma,
- excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis),
- hormonal disorders,
- violation of personal hygiene,
- abuse of cosmetics and deodorants.
As a result of damage or inflammation of the skin, the excretory opening of the sebaceous gland becomes narrower and cannot fully excrete the secret of the gland.
Also, the outflow of the contents is hampered by thickening of the secret, or when a greasy film forms on the surface of the skin, with an increase in the number of exfoliated epithelium or a layer of sweat. All this complicates the outflow of contents from the gland, its cavity expands. The walls become inflamed and compacted, forming a capsule – the formation takes its typical form.
Atheromas by quantity can be divided into single and multiple.
Typical localization of atheroma are:
- face in the area of the superciliary arch, nasolabial triangle, parotid or submental region,
- scalp area,
- the neck, especially on the back surface,
- the area between the shoulder blades,
- crotch area.
- The main clinical characteristics of atheroma:
- subcutaneous formation of round shape,
- with a smooth surface
- having clear boundaries
- the formation is dense and not painful to the touch,
- in the center there is an enlarged and edematous excretory duct.
- the contents are white, mushy, consists of epithelium and gland secretion.
In itself, the presence of atheroma does not threaten human health and health, however, large sizes or localization on the face bring cosmetic inconvenience and psychological discomfort, large atheromas can squeeze surrounding tissues or blood vessels.
The long existence of atheroma can lead to their inflammation – infection and suppuration, then an abscess is formed in the atheroma cavity. It manifests itself:
- soreness in atheroma,
- red skin
- temperature increase
- release of pus and sebum during the spontaneous opening of the abscess.
The basis of the diagnosis is a visual inspection of the area of atheroma and the adjacent skin, while the presence of an expanded duct of the gland is most important. Additional diagnostics is performed during surgery by taking for atheroma tissue histology.
It is necessary to distinguish atheroma from lipoma or hygroma , since they may be similar in appearance.
Surgeons are involved in the treatment of atheroma, conservative methods of atheroma resorption do not exist, it is removed for cosmetic reasons or if there is a danger of suppuration. When festering atheroma and abscess formation, the operation is carried out urgently – the cavity is opened and all pus with contents is removed.
With atheroma without complications, you can apply the following treatment methods:
- radio wave removal,
- laser removal,
- classical removal with a scalpel.
When the radio wave method, which is preferred, does not appear repeated atheroma, no need to stitch. The recovery period is about 5 days, there are no scars and traces, and you do not need to stay in the hospital. When atheromas in the scalp do not need to shave hair. But this method is not shown at suppuration, then they resort to the classical operation with cuts and seams.
Atheroma occurs in oily skin, and the basis of their prevention is regular hygiene, the use of means to reduce the oily skin and hair. Periodic cleaning and use of masks is shown for the face. In the diet should avoid fatty and sweet food, spicy seasonings.