Microscopy Primer
Light and Color
Microscope Basics
Special Techniques
Digital Imaging
Confocal Microscopy
Live-Cell Imaging
Photomicrography
Microscopy Museum
Virtual Microscopy
Fluorescence
Web Resources
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Partners
Site Info
Contact Us
Publications
Home

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Pharmaceuticals
Chip Shots
Phytochemicals
DNA Gallery
Microscapes
Vitamins
Amino Acids
Birthstones
Religion Collection
Pesticides
BeerShots
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

Phase Contrast Image Gallery

Sebaceous Cysts

Illustrated below is a phase contrast image of a human sebaceous cyst thin section stained with eosin and hematoxylin. A sebaceous cyst occurs when keratin-producing glands in the skin become clogged, causing the gland to enlarge.

Also referred to as a wen, epidermal cyst, or pilar cyst, it is caused by plugged ducts in malformed hair follicles and generally requires no medical treatment. Occasionally, one may become enlarged, infected, or persistent enough to warrant surgical removal. Sebaceous cysts grow slowly and only rarely become malignant (cancerous).

The term "sebaceous" cyst is something of a misnomer because these cysts do not, in fact, occur in the sebaceous glands but in the skin's hair (keratin) producing follicles. Dermatologists now also use the term trichilemnal cysts to describe them. Keratin is the fibrous structural protein that, in humans, makes up hair, nails, and the outermost layers of skin. In sebaceous cysts, it is a cheesy-looking, semisolid material.

Sebaceous glands produce sebum, an oily substance of unknown function though it undoubtedly has significance since humans have more and larger sebum-producing sebaceous glands than most mammals. These glands are the ones that produce whiteheads and blackheads, which are not sebaceous cysts.

BACK TO THE PHASE CONTRAST GALLERY

Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1998-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Friday, Aug 01, 2003 at 11:43 AM
Access Count Since April 6, 2000: 43464
For more information on microscope manufacturers,
use the buttons below to navigate to their websites: