Cyst Removal

What is a dermatologic cyst?

A cyst is a sac that may be filled with fluid or other material. Most cysts are benign, although some can be malignant.

Should you attempt to remove a cyst yourself?

Self-surgery is never a good idea. This can lead to infection, inflammation, or scarring, and the cyst can often recur. The best thing is to see a dermatologist, a medical doctor specializing in diseases of the skin.

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for Skin Wellness

Nature of Skin Dermatology logo - Austin Dermatologist

Dr. Saya Obayan, MD, MPH, FAAD

9015 Mountain Ridge Drive, Suite 200,
Austin, TX 78759

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How are cysts formed?

Cysts are usually formed on the scalp, face, and back. Often they are formed by buildup of keratin, the protein that makes up hair. Other types include:

  • Sebaceous cysts from blocked oil glands,
  • Infections,
  • Residual embryonic cell masses,
  • Parasitic inclusions,
  • Cysts caused by injuries

What to look for

Cysts can cause pain when patients comb their hair or when a cyst rubs against tight clothing. Patients may notice redness, a pustule that leaks pus or other fluid, or a mass that moves in the skin, or a more solid mass in the case of keratin. Whatever its description, the mass should be seen by a dermatologist.

How are cysts removed?

Removal of cysts is a sterile procedure performed in the doctor’s office. Local anesthetic is injected into the skin, and the entire cyst is removed, including the sac. This is so that the cyst will not return. Very little blood is involved. A stitch or two closes the small wound, and the patient is their way. Stitches may be removed in about seven to ten days.

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