What is atheroma? This is a benign tumor of the skin in the form of a dense formation, usually painless, soldered to the skin, with clear contours. Such tumors are often called adipocytes, because they develop in the duct of the sebaceous gland. Most often, atheromas are localized in places where there are many sebaceous glands: near the ears, on the scalp, on the face, on the chest, on the back between the shoulder blades and in the groin area. These adolescents appear mainly in people aged 20-35 years, more often in men.


  • The skin appears bulging in size from 5 mm to 5 cm, usually round in shape, with sharp edges.
  • The color of the tumor usually does not differ much from the surrounding skin, but a reddish or yellowish tinge may appear.
  • Wen has a dense structure, the skin above it is perfectly healthy, often in the center of the tumor there is a black dot (in the place of blockage of the outlet of the sebaceous duct).
  • In most cases, the formation does not cause discomfort or pain, but sometimes there is an inflammation of the atheroma, which leads to pain, redness of the tumor, an increase in body temperature.
  • The greatest difficulty is delivered by a fatty gland on the genitals, scrotum, in the groin, causing discomfort during urination and sexual intercourse.

Causes of a tumor

The cause of atheroma is a blockage of the outer opening of the sebaceous gland. As a result of such a blockage, a glandular secret accumulates in the gland duct. As the place for accumulation of sebaceous contents becomes limited, the sebaceous duct begins to stretch, forming a protrusion under the skin. Contents of atheroma - thickened skin fat whitish color, containing dead organic matter and cholesterol crystals, with strong pressure from the wen, a sebaceous mass with an unpleasant odor is released.

Seizure of the duct of the sebaceous gland can occur due to the following reasons:

  • Heredity - skin cells or rudiments of glands, which in reality should be located on the surface of the skin (for example, cells for hair formation), are located in deeper layers of the skin and do not communicate with its surface. This occurs even in the womb, at an early stage of fetal development.
  • Seizure of the sebaceous gland due to inflammatory skin diseases.
  • Extrude acne, boils, tendency to acne.
  • Infringement of integrity of a hair bulb because of an inflammation, a fat seborrhea, etc.
  • Increased sweating (hyperhidrosis).
  • Non-compliance with personal hygiene.
  • Use of low-quality cosmetics.
  • Hormonal disorders.

Factors contributing to the formation of fatty glands on the skin:

  • Acne, acne, pimples.
  • Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Damage to the skin - even small scratches can cause atheroma of the skin.
  • The appearance of other tumorous formations on the skin.

Atheromas are of different sizes. Usually they grow slowly, over the years, sometimes they get stuck, they are single and multiple, from the size of a pea to a chicken egg. Serious danger occurs only with inflammation of the atheroma. When suppuration appears all the signs of inflammation, the skin over the cyst is thinned and breaks out - pus and the rest of the contents of the adipose are secreted. After a breakthrough, a purulent abscess may form, often fistulas remain, and with the preservation of the capsule relapses occur.


It is difficult to diagnose atheroma independently. You can focus on the characteristic location of the tumor, the presence of clear contours, the absence of pain, the presence of a black spot at the site of blockage of the sebaceous duct. In addition, multiple atheromas often occur. However, the exact identification can be made only by a dermatologist. The final diagnosis is established after histological examination of the tissue and exclusion of lipoma and cancer tumors.

What is the difference between atheroma and lipoma? In appearance these are very similar formations on the skin, but when pressing the lipoma will not keep the shape, it will elude, it is unlikely to get squeezed, and the atheroma is dense, has clear boundaries, when pressed will keep the shape and stay in place.

Making a diagnosis on your own can be very dangerous, because you can confuse a wen with a lipoma or malignant formation and miss the valuable time to start treatment for a tumor.

How to treat atheroma?

A person who has found atheroma, there is a desire to squeeze it out. Many people think that it will be possible to get rid of it. However, squeezing significantly increases the likelihood of inflammation. Moreover, it will again be filled with skin fat.

Atheroma is a cosmetic defect. Therefore, the doctor should be consulted if it interferes or has become inflamed. Symptoms of inflammation of atheroma: painful redness, hot skin, fever.

The main method of treatment with atheroma is an operation involving the removal of a wen under local anesthesia. Removal can be performed by classical surgical method, as well as laser or radio wave method. The size of the wen may not influence the choice of the method of treatment, it all depends on the patient's desire.

Advantages of laser and radio wave removal of atheroma:

  • Outpatient treatment without the need to go to hospital. Registration in the hospital is required only for large tumor sizes.
  • Low probability of recurrence.
  • Excellent cosmetic effect due to the lack of necessity to apply seams, leaving scars. If there remains a small scar, then within 4-5 months it will completely resolve.
  • Minimal recovery period after removal of the wen - in 3-4 days the patient can return to the habitual way of life, while suturing provides for 1.5-2 weeks of rehabilitation.
  • With radio wave removal of the tumor localized in the scalp, you do not need to shave your hair.

Many patients mistakenly assume that only large cysts need to be removed. In fact, it is more expedient to remove the wen as long as it does not grow to a significant size, which will improve the cosmetic effect of the treatment. The larger the tumor, the more difficult it is to remove without residual scars.

It is worth noting that with inflammation of atheroma and the formation of a purulent abscess, only the surgical method of treatment is used, in which the wedlock is opened, cleaned of pus, but not completely removed.

In the absence of complications, the planned surgical operation is performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia. The operation takes about half an hour, in the absence of complications after a few hours the patient is released home. During the operation, the cyst is completely removed together with the capsule, ensuring that no small particles of the capsule remain, as the tumor can recur. After removal of the atheroma, seams are applied to the skin using a thin atraumatic thread, these seams are usually removed after a week.

With the timely removal of atheroma, the prognosis is favorable. If the capsule is completely removed, relapses usually do not occur. With inflammation, suppuration of the wen, complications arise, which complicates the situation, increases the risk of residual events.


To reduce the likelihood of the appearance of adipose tissue, one should carefully observe the hygiene of the body, timely treat skin inflammatory diseases, use only high-quality cosmetics. With oily skin, it is recommended to regularly clean pores with cosmetic masks and steam baths, and wash your head with special drying shampoos. Particular attention should be given to nutrition: to exclude from the diet animal fats, to add more vegetables and fruits.

With the appearance of multiple atheromes or relapses after removal of the tumor, a complex examination of the body is necessary, as the cause of the appearance of adipose cells can become a serious disease and the sooner the pathology is established, the faster it can be successfully treated.


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