Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Medical Dermatology


The board-certified plastic surgeons at California Skin Institute can treat various types of cysts that form on and under the skin.

The majority of cysts are noncancerous bumps of varying sizes that appear beneath the skin anywhere on the body. Some are slow growing, painless and can go unnoticed or untreated for years. Others may increase in size and develop a bothersome appearance. Still other cysts may become infected and painful as they develop.

If a cyst’s appearance or pain is becoming bothersome, ask your licensed professional about various options for removal.

Types of Cysts

Cystic Acne

One of the most severe types of acne, cystic acne develops when the sebum (oil from the sebaceous glands) builds up inside the skin. Instead of releasing through the surface or healing on its own, the acne grows deeper into the skin, sometimes rupturing the sebaceous glands. Because of its depth, topical treatments may not be sufficient, but the licensed professionals at California Skin Institute can offer other solutions.

Epidermoid Cysts

These small, noncancerous bumps can appear beneath the skin and can present anywhere on the body, but are most commonly found on the face, neck and torso. They are usually slow growing and painless. However, because they may develop on exposed skin, their appearance may be bothersome and removal may be recommended.

Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion cysts are benign lumps that typically form along the tendons or joints of the wrists and hands or on the ankles and feet. Ranging in size from a few millimeters to about an inch, they can cause pain and interference with joint movement, in addition to an undesirable appearance.

Ingrown Hair

Ingrown hair is common in areas where hairs have been shaved, plucked or cut to a very short length and can occur anywhere on the body. Often noticeable as small, inflamed, painful bumps with redness, ingrown hair that does not improve on its own can be unsightly and uncomfortable. California Skin Institute’s licensed professionals provide laser and aesthetic treatments to help hair reduction and reduce ingrown hair formation, allowing the surrounding skin to heal.

Pilar Cyst

Often found on the scalp, pilar cysts (also called wens) are benign, fluid-filled growths that develop from hair follicles. Smooth and moveable with the skin, these cysts may be tender to the touch. They are filled with keratin, a protein that naturally occurs in hair. While they rarely grow and multiply to surrounding skin, some may want to have pilar cysts removed because of discomfort or the undesirable appearance.

Pilonidal Cysts

An uncomfortable pocket of skin containing hair or skin debris, a pilonidal cyst is almost always found near the tailbone at the top crease of the buttocks. It forms when hair punctures the skin and the skin becomes infected. The cyst develops beneath the skin, often including a hair follicle with active hair growth. Drainage, excision and other treatments can remove pilonidal cysts.

End of content dots

News, Research and More

Stay current with California Skin Institute