Epidermal cysts, sometimes called epidermoid or sebaceous cysts, are growths that develop from damaged hair follicles just under the skin’s surface. These are usually benign, but if your cyst rubs against clothing and causes irritating friction or you want it gone for cosmetic reasons, the Skin & Beauty Center’s board-certified dermatologists can help. Contact us at 818-842-8000 or read on to find out more about cyst removal.
Why Do People Get Skin Cysts?
Epidermoid cysts occur when the top layers of skin fold in on themselves, blocking the dead skin cells from shedding. When these dead cells move deeper into the skin and multiply, they sometimes form a keratin-filled sac.
Anyone can develop a cyst, but certain risk factors make it more likely. If you sustain an injury to the skin that damages a hair follicle, you’ve been through puberty, or you have a history of acne, you’re more likely to get skin cysts.
When Should I Get a Cyst Removed?
Many people have cysts for years that never cause any issues. However, you might choose to get your cyst removed if:
- It’s causing friction between your skin and clothing,
- Your cyst is in a visible place, like on your face or neck, and you want it removed for aesthetic reasons.
- Your cyst is oozing, red, swollen, tender, or showing other signs of infection.
If you choose to have a cyst removed, the providers at the Skin & Beauty Center are highly experienced with the latest techniques.
How Do You Remove an Epidermoid Cyst?
Epidermal cyst removal is typically done during a quick outpatient procedure. However, you should never try to remove a cyst at home, as these attempts often result in infections or scarring.
Instead, our board-certified dermatologists can use one of the following methods:
- Injections: If you’re experiencing some discomfort, you might be able to find relief without complete removal. Certain medications can be injected into the cyst to alleviate swelling or inflammation.
- Drainage: With this method, a small cut is made in the cyst and the contents are slowly squeezed out. This might provide temporary relief, but cysts often recur after drainage.
- Surgical excision: This minor procedure can typically be performed under local anesthesia. It’s the most effective cyst removal technique since our providers will excise the contents of your cyst and the closed sac. Removing this lining helps prevent the cyst from coming back.
Full excision is the preferred method for cyst removal. It usually leaves only a barely visible scar behind. If the cyst has ever been infected or you’ve tried to drain it yourself, it might be surrounded by scar tissue. In this case, the incision may need to be longer to remove the entire cyst. Our providers can recommend the best treatment method for you.
Does Insurance Cover Skin Cyst Removal?
Insurance usually covers removal if your cyst has been infected or is painful. However, insurance will likely not cover the procedure if you want a cyst removed for cosmetic reasons. Our providers can answer any questions about insurance and fees at your consultation.