By Gary M. White, MD

median nasal dermoid fistula

The median nasal dermoid fistula (MNDF) is a tract connecting the surface of the nose with an underlying dermoid cyst.


A midline pit or fistula, often with hairs emanating from it, on the dorsum of the nose is characteristic. Sebaceous material may emanate spontaneously or upon compression. A firm, painless swelling may be noted anywhere from the glabella to the tip of the nose. Intermittent drainage, abscess formation, meningitis or osteomyelitis may occur. See also dermoid cyst.


Because these congenital defects potentially have intracranial extension, imaging is necessary. Typically a computed tomography scan or magnetic resonance imaging is recommended.


Surgical excision is recommended by a trained specialist able to remove the entire lesion.

Additional Pictures

median nasal dermoid fistula

This lesion is off center, presenting on the eyelid.
median nasal dermoid fistula


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