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  • Cysts are commonly occurring, but are generally slow-growing, painless, noncancerous and non-life-threatening.
  • Never attempt to drain or remove a cyst at home, as it can lead to infection and more serious complications.
  • Most don’t seek treatment until cysts become infected, grow to disfiguring proportions or in sensitive areas, or impact nerve, blood vessel, or organ function.
  • Don’t hesitate to make an appointment whenever abnormal growths appear on or under your skin.

More About Cysts

Epidermoid & Sebaceous Cyst

Epidermoid cysts are filled with keratin protein and form when the epidermal layer of the skin grows too deep to rise to the surface and shed as normal. Sebaceous cysts occur when sebaceous glands (which produce oil for the skin and hair) rupture or get blocked and fill with sebum.

Home vs Medical Remedies

Applying a warm compress at home may provide relief for some cysts or speed up the healing process, but it is never advisable to risk infection by trying to rupture and drain a cyst on your own. At Aspen, we will drain or surgically remove cysts where appropriate.

Recognizing Cysts

Cysts are fluid- or semisolid-filled pockets of tissue that are generally slow-growing, painless, and noncancerous. They can appear on the skin, just under it, or deep inside the body, most often targeting:

  • The skin (epidermoid & sebaceous cysts)
  • Eyelids (chalazia cysts)
  • Wrists (ganglion cysts)
  • Knees (Baker’s cysts)
  • Ovaries (ovarian cysts)
  • Breasts (cystic lumps)
  • Vagina (Bartholin’s gland cysts)
  • Cervix (Nabothian cysts)
  • Kidneys (solitary cysts)

When to Seek Treatment

Cysts can be caused by infections, inherited diseases, chronic inflammation, or duct blockages. Some may resolve on their own with time, but often the type of cyst, its location, or whether or not the cyst is infected or causing pain or embarrassment will necessitate treatment. As a rule, Aspen advises making an appointment with us whenever you experience abnormal growths on or under your skin.

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