Skin - Nonmelanocytic tumors
Pigmented follicular cyst

Author: Ghassan Tranesh, M.D. (see Authors page)
Editor: Hong Qu, M.D.

Revised: 4 October 2016, last major update December 2014

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Pigmented follicular cyst [title]

Cite this page: Pigmented follicular cyst. website. Accessed October 17th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Rare, usually presents as solitary papule or nodule
  • Predilection for head and neck of adults, but can also arise on trunk and rarely on extremities
  • Males are more commonly affected than females
  • Usually < 2 cm in diameter; typically has dark hue due to Tyndall effect
Case reports
  • Simple excision
Gross description
  • Bluish ring-shaped lesion
  • Thick coils of pigmented terminal hair
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Pigmented follicular cysts often connect via a small pore to surface epidermis
  • Lined by stratified squamous epithelium, often with a retained rete ridge pattern, that keratinizes through a granular layer
  • Keratin is loose and laminated
  • Essential to the diagnosis is presence of terminal sized hair shafts containing abundant melanin within cyst cavity
  • Sebaceous lobules are not seen in the cyst wall
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Missing Image

Source: DermNetNZ

Differential diagnosis