What are Skin Cysts?

A skin cyst is a sac-like pocket of tissue that contains benign debris. They can grow anywhere on the body under the skin. While there are many different types of cysts, most of them are noncancerous. Some of the most common types of skin cysts include:

  • Epidermoid Cyst: Are small, slow-growing cysts that are most commonly found on the face, head, neck, back, or genitals. They are usually the cause of a buildup of keratin under the skin and may become red or swollen. 
  • Ganglion Cyst: Are round, fluid-filled lumps of tissue that often appear along tendons or joints. They are common and do not cause pain or problems unless they grow and begin to put pressure on other structures. 
  • Pilar Cyst: Are non-cancerous, skin-colored bumps that develop under the skin. They are caused by protein and keratin buildup in a hair follicle and are commonly found on the scalp. 

Dr. Beach will examine your cyst during your consultation appointment to properly diagnose the type of cyst as well as determine the best removal option. 

Skin Cyst Treatment Options

There are a number of treatment options when it comes to treating skin cysts. At DermAtelier on Avenue, Dr. Beach performs the following when appropriate:

Draining the Cyst: An incision is made in the cyst and drain the material inside. However, cysts may refill after being drained. This therapy does not remove the cyst itself. 

Injecting Medication: Injecting certain medications, such as corticosteroid, into the cyst can reduce swelling if the cyst is tender or growing. This therapy does not remove the cyst itself.

Surgical Removal: This is the most definitive treatment option.Dr. Beach will remove the entire cyst wall. This usually stops the cyst from growing back. 

It is very important that you do not try to drain or pop a cyst at home. This may lead to infection or scarring, and the cyst will regrow. If you are uncomfortable with a cyst, be sure to contact DermAtelier on Avenue to arrange for a proper assessment of your cyst. 

Who is a Good Candidate for Skin Cyst Treatment?

While benign cysts do not usually cause long-term problems, they can become enlarged, and cause cosmetic or physical discomfort. Individuals with these symptoms can benefit from elective skin cyst removal.

What to Expect After Skin Cyst Treatment?

There is little to no downtime required following skin cyst treatment, depending on the type and size of the cyst. Patients will be given specific instructions on how to care for their treatment site following their procedure to ensure the best results. In cases of surgical removal, sutures may be placed, which can be removed in-office after about 10-14 days. 

Contact Us Today

If you are unhappy with a skin cyst and would like to learn more about your cyst treatment options, contact our office today! We will let you know how to schedule your consultation with Dr. Beach, which is your first step toward a more comfortable and confident you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cysts hereditary?

Theyre rarely hereditary. Generally they occur in an individual spontaneously.

Are skin cysts dangerous?

No, they are not dangerous but can be annoying or disliked

Can a cyst be hard like bone?

Sometimes, if a cyst gets calcified, it can feel hard

Can a sebaceous cyst go away on its own?

Sometimes it can undergo involution that involves shrinking or fibrosis that involves hardening which diminishes its size. It would be uncommon for a cyst to spontaneously resolve.

Can a skin cyst turn into cancer?

No, a skin cyst does not become cancer

Can an ultrasound tell the difference between a cyst and a tumor?

Ultrasound can characterize features of each and give a report that indicates which is most likely.

Can I stick a needle in a sebaceous cyst?

Yes, but this will not make the cyst go away or resolve.

Do cysts move under the skin?

No, theyre situated in a single site within the skin .

How big can a cyst get?

Cysts can range from less than 1 cm to several centimetres.

Do cysts grow bigger?

They may slowly enlarge in size.

Can you pop a cyst?

Popping a cyst can result in scarring and infection and the cyst may recur.

Can you drain a cyst at home?

This is not advised due to the risk of infection and scarring.

Can melanoma look like a cyst?

They generally do not share features or look alike.

Can a sebaceous cyst be treated without surgery?

Definitive treatment is with use of surgery (Excision)

Can a dermatologist remove a cyst?

Yes, dermatologists remove cysts.

Can a cyst be mistaken for a tumor?

It is uncommon, but possible to mistake a cyst for a tumour because they can be solid and underneath the skin.

Can a cyst be hard?

Yes, they can be hard due to the material found in them or because the surrounding tissue has some calcium.

Do skin cysts go away?

Sometimes they can spontaneously resolve, but generally they persist.

Do you need stitches after cyst removal?

Yes, stitches are inserted after cyst removal and may be removed in a 10 - 14 day period depending on the site of the body.

Does Cyst Removal leave scar?

Yes, it leaves a scar that is generally linear in nature.

How do I get rid of cyst?

A cyst is surgically excised for it to be definitively removed.

How can you tell a cyst from a tumor?

A cyst has a wall and is filled with debris like keratin

How do you get rid of skin cysts?

A cyst is surgically excised for it to be definitively removed/ gotten rid of.

How do you prepare for a cyst removal?

Ensure that the skin is clean and the area is accessible for removal.

How do you tell the difference between a lipoma and a cyst?

A lipoma is soft and more dome shaped and squishy. A cyst is generally more firm and more circumscribed and may have a central hole over it or a punctum

Is cyst a cancer?

Common epidermal inclusion cysts are not cancer.

Is cyst removal considered surgery?

Cyst removal is a form of procedural dermatology or minor surgery

How long does a skin cyst last?

They can persist indefinitely/ for years.

Is cyst removal painful?

The process of putting in freezing or anaesthetic can be painful, but it is short-lived/ temporary.

What causes fatty cysts?

There may be fat or adipose tissue around a cyst. Otherwise, the balls of fat under the skin are known as lipomas.

How long does cyst removal take to heal?

Cyst removal results in a scar. The scar heals gradually and matures over the course of a year.

How long does it take for a cyst to form?

Cysts can form gradually over months.

What does a cyst feel like?

Cysts usually feel firm to the touch.

What does a sebaceous cyst look like?

It has a sac or wall around it and over top there can be a small pinhole or a punctum, the inside may look brown

What is inside a sebaceous cyst?

The brown or white material is a combination of skin cells and oil and sometimes hair debris

What is the fastest way to get rid of a cyst?

Having a cyst removed surgically is the fastest way to get rid of it.

What kind of cyst do I have?

Receiving a diagnosis by a dermatologist will help to clarify the type of cyst you have.

What kind of doctor can remove a cyst?

A dermatologist can remove a cyst. Surgeons - plastic surgeons and general surgeons - can also remove cysts.

What is inside a cyst?

The brown or white material is a combination of skin cells and oil and sometimes hair debris

What is cyst removal called?

Removal is called excision.

What happens if you pop a cyst?

Popping a cyst can result in scarring and infection and the cyst may recur.

What causes cysts on your privates?

This can be due to a combination of sweat and occlusion and bacteria that lead to cyst formation on privates

What can happen if a cyst is left untreated?

Left untreated, a cyst may slowly grow.

When should I be concerned about a cyst?

If the cyst is enlarging rapidly or draining consistently, it is a good idea to have it assessed by your doctor.



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