Our new online store is now open! SHOP NOW!


Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center -  - Dermatologist

Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center

Dermatologists & Mohs Surgeons located in Glen Allen, VA & Chesterfield, VA

Cysts are common lumps below the surface of your skin. While not dangerous, they can occasionally be painful and drain foul-smelling material. There are several ways to tackle these lumps. Let Patricia O’Connor, MD, and the experienced team at Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center in Glen Allen and Chesterfield, Virginia take care of your cysts today. Book your appointment today by calling the nearest Richmond-area office or send us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.

Cyst Q & A

What are cysts?

Cysts occur when skin folds in on itself around a hair follicle. Now, outside skin is trapped in a sac that gradually fills with dead skin cells as they are no longer able to shed into the environment. These dead skin cells make up the foul-smelling, cottage-cheese like material that can be expressed from the cyst’s punctum (opening). 

Are cysts dangerous? 

No, cysts are benign growths, but occasionally they can become inflamed if they are in sites that experience frequent rubbing or irritation (like the back from sitting, or the scalp from hair styling). The inflammation can be treated acutely but if a particular cyst becomes inflamed repeatedly, it may be time for it to be completely removed.  

Where do cysts occur? 

Cysts are very common and can happen anywhere we have hair follicles- essentially everywhere except our palms and soles. However, they are most common on the scalp, back, and chest. Patients with cystic acne will also develop cysts on the face. 

How are cysts treated?

Depending on where the cyst is on the body and if it is inflamed or not, your provider may perform one of the following procedures: 

  • Intralesional steroid injection: This will almost immediately calm down the inflammation of the cyst for fast pain relief. It will likely be followed by another, more definitive treatment.
  • Incision and drainage: Depending on the size and location of the cyst, occasionally an opening can be made in the cyst with the contents expressed to flatten the cyst. 
  • Excision: This is the most definitive treatment in which the lining of the cyst is removed to ensure the cyst does not refill with dead skin cells and recur. It does involve local anesthesia, removal of the cyst with a scalpel, and stitches. 

To schedule a cyst removal consultation, call the office nearest you, or send us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.

References and Resources: