Buckhead Office

3379 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 500

Atlanta, GA 30326

Mon. - Fri.: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Roswell Office

11755 Pointe Place, Suite B-2

Roswell, GA 30076

Mon. - Fri.: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Skin Cysts: When To Worry


Cysts that develop under the skin do not typically warrant urgent treatment. Most patients realize they have a cyst when they see or feel a small pea-sized lump just beneath the skin surface. Skin cysts are usually diagnosed as either epidermoid cysts or pillar cysts. While a physician can look at the cells of the cyst and determine the exact type, there are some generalizations about each type of skin cyst that can tell you which one you may have.

Epidermoid cysts form from cells that are typically from the skin surface. They are common in young and middle-aged adults. You may find an epidermoid cyst on the face, neck, chest, upper back or genitals. Pilar cysts, however, form from cells that normally grow hair. They are frequently found on the scalp and affect middle-aged women the most.

Both pilar cysts and epidermoid cysts are tiny sacs filled with soggy keratin, a substance that appears much like toothpaste. They can occur when the cells that are normally at the surface of the skin get pushed down deeper into the skin layers. This typically occurs when the skin is injured. Here these cells multiply like they would at the skin surface, causing a sac of keratin to form. While genetics can play a large role in the formation of skin cysts, injury or trauma is a leading culprit.

Most skin cysts are harmless and asymptomatic, but not all cysts can be left alone. Reasons that a skin cyst may need removal include the following:

  • Cosmetic Reasons – If your cyst is on your face or another visible part of the body, you may want to remove it to restore your self-confidence.
  • Infection – If you notice that your cyst is irritated, red or swollen, you may have an infected cyst that needs treatment.
  • Pain/Discomfort – It is possible that the position of your skin cyst causes discomfort. For example, if you have a pilar cyst on your scalp, you may find that your hairbrush catches it when you brush and causes pain.

At Olansky Dermatology Associates, we have skilled dermatologists that are highly qualified to diagnose and remove your skin cyst. We provide treatments such as cyst draining as well as surgical removal. Schedule an appointment with us today to determine if your skin cyst needs attention.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Jodi E. Ganz, Olansky Dermatology Associates
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Olansky Dermatology AssociatesAtlanta Dermatologist
3379 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30326
Phone: (404) 355-5484


American College of Mohs Surgery Atlanta Association for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery American Academy of Dermatology American Medical Association American Medical Association

Buckhead Office

3379 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 500

Atlanta, GA 30326

Roswell Office

11755 Pointe Place, Suite B-2

Roswell, GA 30076

Our Happy Patients

Olansky Dermatology Associates

4.7/ 5.0

Based on 229 reviews

Jenny S.

The doctors and PA’s are great and very knowledgeable. I never have to wait to long and the office staff is always very nice. I also take my son there and they are great with him as well. I would highly recommend Olansky Dermatology.

Kristen R.

Olansky Dermatology is wonderful! Our whole family goes. My daughter has had terrible eczema through the years and both my kids had mollescum too. They always make things better and spend time explaining whats wrong and how to fix it.

Mike D.

I recently had a couple appointments at Olanksy Dermatology and was seen by Julia Lee. Julie was excellent and quickly took care of the issue I was having with my skin. I would highly recommend Olansky Dermatology and especially Julia Lee to anyone in need of a dermatologist.

Tamima D.

My husband is a patient of PA Sharon Doering I appreciate all she did for my spouse. She’s very down to earth & made him feel comfortable. Sharon communicated in a way that he can understand.
Thank You

Lisa H.

I see the physician assistant Sharon Doering and she has drastically improved my skin! I highly recommend this practice and their brilliant thourough doctors. I finally have glowing skin!

Betty G.

I have had excellent experience at Olansky Dermatology. Dr Burger is meticulous and thorough and has a most pleasant and calm manner. I have every confidence in her and this office.

Cheyenne G.

Very kind and understanding people. Dr. Bellamy and her nurse took the time to listen to all my concerns and never made me feel rushed.

Kishan P.

I was actually running a bit late, but they were very friendly and knowledgeable about what was going on with my skin. And also very timely.I will definitely stick with them!

Khol S.

Very professional and pleasant staff. When I arrived at my appointment this afternoon I was informed that my doctor called out sick and they tried calling to let me know but I just recently changed my number so they were unable to reach me. The receptionist was so sweet and helpful. Instead of leaving and making a new appointment they fit me in without an issue and without any waiting.

Susan H.

Dr. Ilyas was highly recommended to me so I decided to change dermatologists. I am so glad as I am pleased with his expertise and his highly professional manner. I am also delighted with Emily Raville, Aesthetician. She does a wonderful job and I am recommending her to my friends as well. I am completely satisfied – can’t get any better than that!

Lindsay S.

I have been going to Olansky Dematology for many years now, whether for a specific problem, or just for a really great deep facial, and I wouldn’t consider going anywhere else. Every single staff member is knowledgeable and professional. The customer service I receive every visit leaves a positive and lasting impression. I always feel comfortable and at ease while I am there. Great staff!

Janet R.

I seem to live at this place! Whether it’s for an appointment with a doctor or for an aesthetic treatment, I am there frequently. I cannot say enough good things. Efficient, friendly, the best doctors, and a new aesthetic center with the latest in procedures and products to keep us looking almost as young as we feel. It’s always fun to see Emily and she knows just what to recommend.