What Is a Cyst?

A cyst is a fluid-filled lump that forms in the deeper layers of skin when a hair follicle becomes blocked. They can be uncomfortable and unsightly but are harmless (benign). Nevertheless, any suspicious growth on the skin should be examined by a dermatologist to determine whether it is cancerous. If infected, a cyst may require treatment with antibiotics.

Logo media
smiling woman with curly hair and blue dress standing in front of a house

Symptoms of Cysts

  • Lumps or bumps under the skin
  • Causes pain or discomfort, depending on their location and size
  • Becomes inflamed, causing redness, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area
  • Changes in skin color or texture of the skin overlying the cyst – for example, a sebaceous cyst on the face may cause the skin to appear reddish or yellowish

Cyst Removal Techniques

Cysts are common skin growths that can be removed for cosmetic and medical reasons. There are several techniques for removing cysts, and the choice depends on the type, size, and location of the cyst.


The cyst can be cut out using a surgical knife or scissors. Your dermatologist will numb the area around the cyst with local anesthesia before the procedure. The cyst is then removed, and the wound is closed with stitches. This technique is effective for removing large and deep cysts.


Another technique for removing cysts is drainage. In this technique, a small incision is made in the cyst in order to drain the inside fluid. This technique is suitable for small and superficial cysts. After the drainage, the wound is cleaned and dressed with a bandage.


Electrocautery is another technique for removing cysts. This technique uses an electric current to burn the cyst and its surrounding tissue. The heat from the electric current seals the blood vessels, which reduces bleeding. This technique is suitable for small and superficial cysts.

Milia Extraction

Milia are small, white, or yellowish bumps that often appear on the face, particularly around the eyes, nose, and cheeks. They are caused by dead skin cells and sebum trapped in the pores. While milia are harmless, some people may want them removed for cosmetic reasons.

Milia can be removed by extraction. A small, sterile needle or blade creates a tiny incision in the skin during the procedure. The milia cyst is then gently extracted using a comedone extractor.


After the cyst removal procedure, properly caring for the affected area is vital to ensure a smooth recovery. The following are some tips to help with the healing process:

  • Keep the dressing on for at least 24 hours after the procedure
  • Change the dressing as instructed by your healthcare provider
  • Avoid getting the area wet until you are given the green light
  • Avoid strenuous activities that may cause sweating or irritation
  • Take any prescribed pain medications as directed by your dermatologist
  • Apply ice to the site for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, to reduce swelling and discomfort
  • Keep the area elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling
  • Do not pick or scratch at the area

After the procedure, it is normal to experience some discomfort, swelling, and bruising. However, if the pain is severe or there is excessive bleeding or drainage from the area, contact your Skin Care Doctors provider immediately.

Banner media

Why Choose Skin Care Doctors?

The medical providers at Skin Care Doctors are highly trained to safely and effectively remove cysts. Whether you want to remove a cyst for medical or cosmetic reasons, our providers can do so gently and thoroughly, preserving your tissues for minimal scarring. Contact our office today if you want us to evaluate a cyst for treatment or removal.

Better skin health starts here. Schedule your appointment today.

Contact Us
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 952-283-0123.
Contact Us