Skin cysts are smooth bumps of tissue filled with pus, liquid or fibrous material. They are noncancerous and painless to the touch unless infected.
The most common types are epidermoid cysts, which develop just under the skin and can grow slowly over time or seem to appear out of nowhere. They can be the size of a pea or larger and can appear anywhere on the body.
How Can I Tell If I Have a Skin Cyst?
Skin cysts develop just under the surface of the skin and are smooth to the touch. They are generally painless, unless infected and are usually about the size of a pea. They grow slowly over time and rarely dissipate on their own. It’s important to have any skin growth examined by a medically-trained professional. If you suspect you have a cyst or another skin growth that has not been examined, call the Skin and Cancer Center of Scottsdale for a consultation at (480) 596-1110.
Types of Skin Cysts
There are many types of cysts, but there are two in particular which are related to the skin, epidermoid cysts and pilar cysts (formerly sebaceous cysts).
Epidermoid cysts are the more common of the two and usually affect young to middle-aged adults. This type of cyst develops in the epidermis and most often appear on the face, neck, chest and upper back.
Pilar Cysts develop from cells like those in hair follicles. Pilar cysts are most common in middle-aged women and most often in the hairline, but can form anywhere on the body.
Are Skin Cysts Harmful?
Skin cysts are noncancerous and generally considered harmless. However, skin cysts can become infected or may develop in an area that causes pain, such as the hairline, where they may be damaged by a comb or brush, or in sensitive areas where friction and movement annoy the cyst and surrounding skin.
Can Skin Cysts Be Removed?
Cysts can be treated and are not likely to fade away on their own. While they are harmless, a person with a skin cyst may choose to have it removed for a number of reasons, including the following:
- For cosmetic reasons
- To alleviate pain from infection
- To alleviate pain related to the cyst’s area of development
Types of Treatments for Skin Cysts
Skin cysts can be drained by a medically-trained professional. Draining the cyst does not cure it, but with prescribed ointment the cyst will slowly heal. In more serious cases, a specialist may suggest surgically removing the cyst to stop it from growing and developing again.
To have a cyst examined and to determine the best treatment for your skin, call the Skin & Cancer Center of Scottsdale today at (480) 596-1110 and make an appointment with Robert J. Casquejo, PA-C.