Skin diseases: Atheroma and Basalioma 


Atheromas are skin bumps the size of a tennis ball, which are caused by inflamed sebum glands. Read more about symptoms, causes, and treatment.


Real atheromas, false atheromas, follicle swelling, sebum cyst, semolina knots, groats, trichilemmal cysts, epidermoid cysts


Atheroma is a specific form of benign cyst that doctors call atheroma. Cysts are fluid-filled cavities in tissue that are encased (encapsulated) by skin. In detail, doctors differentiate between real and fake atheromas.

Real and spurious atheromas

In the case of fake atheromas, the cysts form as a result of a blockage in the area of ​​the sebum glands, more precisely in the sebum duct. Boils , in which the hair root canals are affected, have a similar appearance . Because of the semolina-like consistency of the cyst contents, these atheromas are known colloquially as semolina bags or semolina knots. Strictly speaking, these atheromes are among the false atheromes.

Real atheromas in the medically correct sense are soft tissue tumors without a recognizable duct. These are also known as epidermoid cysts. Epidermoid cysts, however, hardly contain any fat, but arise from the rapid and dispersed growth of epidermal cells in the tissue. Real atheromas usually develop as part of an injury to the skin. If cells of the epidermis penetrate deeper into the wound, they continue to grow and multiply there. Over time, more and more horny layers develop and the area swells. Since the wound is then already closed again, there is no longer any external duct.

Real or fake: Atheromas are usually harmless. However, if the contents of the cyst become inflamed and pus forms in the atheroma, complications can arise. Such an abscess can burst. Then sometimes pathogens spread into the bloodstream and can cause dangerous infections.


Atheromas appear as hemispherical swellings (soft tissue tumors) on the skin. Areas with many sebaceous glands are preferred. Atheromas are therefore particularly common on the scalp (90 percent) and in the neck. Atheromas also form, for example, in the genital area, on the chest, on the back or on the earlobes.

Most atheromas range in diameter from the size of a pinhead to between 1 and 2 centimeters. But they can also get significantly larger. Then they reach the size of a tennis ball or chicken egg. Smaller atheromas in particular often appear in groups.

The consistency of the soft tissue swelling is usually slightly elastic. They usually feel full. Sometimes the cysts can be moved. The skin around the atheroma usually shows no change. In particular, inflamed atheromas cannot be moved. In the case of inflammation, the surrounding skin is also tender, reddened and / or swollen.

Most atheromas cause little or no pain.


Atheromas are caused by blockages in the ducts of the sebum glands. Among other things, sebum glands beneath the surface of the skin ensure that hair is surrounded by a protective layer called sebum. The exit of the sebum glands leads to the hair root duct. If this duct of the sebum is narrowed, for example by fat plugs, fat crystals or flakes of skin, the sebum accumulates. The organism reacts by covering this accumulation of secretion with skin. If the congestion occurs in the area of ​​the hair root sheath, doctors speak of a trichilemmal cyst or tricholemmal cyst.


The best way to determine whether treatment for an atheroma is necessary at all is after an examination by your family doctor or dermatologist. As a rule, small atheromas do not cause any discomfort, but are merely perceived as cosmetically disturbing. Larger atheromas should be removed because of the risk of further infection.

Treatment for atheroma at the best dermatologist in delhi for hair is to surgically remove the cyst. This small, superficial intervention can usually be carried out on an outpatient basis in the doctor’s office using local anesthesia.

Especially with real atheromas, it is important that the cyst is completely removed. If parts of the epidermal cells remain in the depths, the risk of re-formation of an epidermoid cyst or a real atheroma increases.

Basalioma (white skin cancer)

Basalioma is a malignant skin cancer. It is formed from cells in the top layer of the skin and usually occurs in regions that are exposed to increased solar radiation. Read more about the symptoms, causes, therapy and prevention of basaliomas.


Basal cell carcinoma, white skin cancer


Basalioma is one of the most common skin cancers. Doctors also refer to it as basal cell carcinoma. Basalioma and another form of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma (spinalioma), are colloquially known as white skin cancer. However, medical professionals do not use this term because it is misleading. A basalioma can also affect pigmented areas of the skin or occur without any discoloration.

In contrast to other malignant skin tumors such as black skin cancer (malignant melanoma) or squamous cell carcinoma (spinalioma), basalioma almost never forms metastases (in less than 0.03 percent of cases). That is why doctors also refer to the disease as semi-malignant, i.e. sometimes malignant. In return, basaliomas can grow very deep into the tissue and even into the bones. In addition, after the first occurrence of a basalioma, there is a high risk that basaliomas will later form again in other parts of the body.

The earlier white skin cancer is detected, the better the chances of recovery. From the age of 35, people with health insurance are entitled to a skin cancer screening every 2 years. With timely treatment, white skin cancer can be effectively removed in 95 percent of cases.


Basaliomas are by far the most common type of skin cancer. They make up about 80 percent of skin cancers. The number of new cases per year (annual incidence) is given as around 100 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Germany. This means that the number of new cases is around 80,000 per year.

Men and women are more or less equally affected. The average age at diagnosis is around 60 years. More recently, younger people have also been affected.


Most often, basaliomas appear in the area of ​​the upper lip up to the hairline as small reddish-yellow, often shiny nodules, on the surface of which small blood vessels shine through. The edge often looks like a string of pearls. The eyelids are very often affected. Basalioma almost never grows on mucous membranes. More rarely – and then more on the trunk of the body – basaliomas appear as red spots.

It is noticeable that the skin changes already bleed after minor irritations (e.g. scratching). If the initially small basaliomas continue to grow untreated, deep ulcers can develop that even reach cartilage and bones.


The main cause of basal cell carcinoma is excessive exposure to the sun. Sunburns further increase the risk. Fair-skinned people in particular are at risk. The genetic predisposition for weaker skin pigmentation and increased sensitivity to UV rays is associated with a significantly increased risk of basaliomas.