Dermoids and epidermoids are benign tumors or cysts that typically form early during fetal development. Dermoid cysts are usually located in the lower end of either the brain or the spine, while epidermoids are found at the junction of the brain and brain stem. The cysts are fluid-filled sacs that may also contain blood, tissue or cancer cells, and may lead to swelling, pain in the face, numbness or weakness, hearing loss, hormonal imbalance, seizures and change in vision. These cysts form when skin and associated structures get entrapped in the brain during development.

Dermoid and epidermoids are diagnosed through symptoms and a physical examination. Your doctor may order imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans to confirm on the diagnosis. Treatment involves the surgical resection of the cyst.

Useful Links

  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • American Board of Neurological Surgery
  • American Medical Association
  • The Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland & Labrador
  • North American Skull Base Society
  • North American Spine Society