Nasal dermoid cyst

Case contributed by Dr Sinéad Culleton


Presented with a soft tissue swelling at the upper aspect of her nose.

Patient Data

Age: 5 years
Gender: Female

There is a defect in the nasal bone with a soft tissue mass protruding anteriorly.


The mass suspicious for a dermoid based on CT findings was imaged with MRI. The lesion was T2 hyperintense and fat suppressed. Minimal peripheral enhancement post gadolinium. 

Case Discussion

This mass was surgically excised and pathologically confirmed as a dermoid cyst.

Dermoids are ectoderm-lined inclusion cysts that contain hair, sweat, sebaceous glands and squamous epithelium. Dermoids and epidermoids are commonly seen in the midline, frontotemporal and parietal regions. As in this case they can occur around the glabella, as a nasal dermoid can occur anywhere from the glabella to the columella. Other locations include at the anterior fontanelle, subocciput or vertex. There may be an associated sinus or opening on the skin surface and can extend intracranially 1.

Typically as in this case these lesions are surgically resected not just for cosmetic reasons but there is a risk of infection or intracranial extension 1, 2.

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Case information

rID: 44735
Published: 3rd May 2016
Last edited: 16th Jul 2018
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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