Where Cysts Come From

Cysts are common, noncancerous bumps or lumps that can form under the skin. They contain a liquid or semi-liquid material. Cysts occur most frequently on the face, neck, or torso, but they can appear anywhere on the body. They are commonly caused by clogged glands or trauma to the skin.

Most small cysts are not painful, but larger ones may become painful or uncomfortable, especially when they grow on the face. Most cysts are harmless, but you may want to see a professional if you have a cyst that:

  • Has a diameter larger than 5 centimeters
  • Has a fast rate of recurrence after removal
  • Shows signs of infection – i.e. redness, pain, or pus drainage


Removing Cysts

Cysts are typically removed for cosmetic purposes or if they are causing pain or discomfort. There are several methods for cyst removal.

  • Conventional wide excision – The entire cyst is removed. This method may cause scarring.
  • Minimal excision – This method causes minimal scarring. However, you run the risk of the cyst returning.
  • Laser with punch biopsy excision – A laser is used to bore a hole into the cyst and allow its contents to drain. The cyst wall are removed about a month later.

Your doctor can help you decide which method is best for you.