What is a Cyst?

How is a Cyst FormedA cyst is a benign (non-cancerous), closed pocket of tissue that may be filled with fluid, pus, or other materials such as keratin (a product of a skin gland). They are common and can appear anywhere on the skin, but are especially prone to occur on the scalp, face, neck, and back. You may feel them under the surface of the skin.

How is a Cyst Formed?

Cysts can be caused by trauma, infection or by the intermittent clogging of sebaceous glands (oil glands), or hair follicles in predisposed individuals.

There are many different kinds of cysts, including:

  • Milial cysts
  • Epidermal cysts
  • Follicular cysts
  • Eccrine or apocrine cysts

Treatment Options

Removal of cysts may be medically indicated in some cases, especially if they get large or inflamed, or alternatively, for cosmetic reasons. Most established cysts do not disappear without treatment. Treatment may include piercing the cyst with a scalpel and draining it, injection with cortisone, or surgical removal (most definitive).

Learn more about treatment for cysts at Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery.

For more information about our medical services, visit our Health Library. (Please note that this link will take you to another website. To make an appointment with Art of SKIN, please call 403-675-0018 or contact us online.)