Do you feel uncomfortable by the tenderness or discomfort of a skin lesion called a cyst? If these blemishes do not disappear on their own, they can be treated with a simple localized surgical excision. Dr. Steve Musick, and his team of highly skilled dermatology professionals are here to help you.


Cysts which are usually localized lesions that can appear anywhere on the body. Cysts may appear as a closed sac filled with pus or skin cells. Most cysts are benign (non-cancerous) and should be treated by a skincare professional.

Cysts are usually felt as a smooth bump under your skin. There is no commonality in size as they can remain small or grow larger over time.

Cysts are usually not painful and do not cause a problem unless they are very large, growing in a sensitive area, become infected or push on a nerve or blood vessel.


Do not attempt to treat your cysts by squeezing or draining it yourself. This can cause the cyst to become painful or inflamed

Dr. Steve Musick is a Board-Certified Dermatologist by The American Board of Dermatology and treats all types of skin conditions in the Swansea, IL and St. Louis metropolitan area. There are numerous treatments that Dr. Musick and his team can perform and it is best to make an appointment for proper evaluation of any skin condition to rule out any possibility of skin cancer.

Are All Cysts the Same?

All cysts are not the same! There are several types of cysts that may develop on the skin or beneath the skin’s surface. These include:

  • Sebaceous cysts. These are the most common form of cysts. They are fluid-filled sacs that develop due to a blockage or damage to a duct or hair follicle. Depending on the depth of the sebaceous cyst, it may be mistaken for a pimple. It’s imperative that you avoid popping or picking a sebaceous cyst (as well as any pimple). Doing so may cause infection, bruising, or scarring.
  • Epidermoid cysts. These growths form due to a buildup of keratin in a localized area under the skin. Common areas for epidermoid cysts include the head, face, back, and neck. This type of cyst could become infected, causing swelling, redness, and pain. The epidermoid cyst may look similar to a sebaceous cyst. Rather than being filled with fluid, this cyst is filled with dead skin cells.
  • Ganglion cysts. This type of cyst is most commonly seen near a joint or tendon. Ganglion cysts may range in size from tiny to over an inch in diameter. Because of their location, these cysts may press on a nearby nerve, resulting in pain. The cyst may also limit the range of motion in the nearby joint.
  • Pilar cysts. These cysts grow on the scalp. A pilar cyst may feel like a firm knot beneath the skin. There is a chance that the cyst could burst or could lead to hair loss around it. Fortunately, these cysts tend to grow slowly.
  • Digital mucous cysts. This type of cyst develops at the base of a fingernail or toenail. The digital mucous cyst, as it sounds, is filled with mucous. It may resemble a blister.

Do I Have to Have a Cyst Removed?

If you notice any kind of new growth on or under your skin, it’s wise to schedule a visit with your primary care doctor or a dermatologist. We’re happy to serve you and can do so with years of training and experience under our belts. Cyst removal isn’t always necessary. It isn’t always necessary right away. The trick is to know where you stand. That’s why we encourage you to consult with a board-certified dermatologist if you develop a bump or lump of any kind. Your dermatologist will perform a thorough examination of the growth to determine what type of cyst it is. Your symptoms and concerns may dictate how soon you want to have the cyst removed, or if it needs to be removed at all.  The process is simple, straightforward, and painless. In fact, putting off cyst removal could result in more discomfort than having the growth removed right away.

Could A Cyst Under the Skin be Cancer?

Understandably, if you see a bump or lump under your skin, you may have thoughts of skin cancer or another type of cancer. Fortunately, studies show that the vast majority of cysts are benign. Some types of cysts could be cancerous, but the chances of this are quite low. That said, having a cyst examined by a dermatologist is advantageous not only for your health but for your peace of mind.

To make an appointment, call Musick Dermatology & Advanced Clinical Spa in Swansea, IL today at (618) 628-2588. We accept most health insurance programs.

Musick Dermatology & Advanced Clinical Spa

Monday-Friday 8:00 am- 4:00 pm