Skin Cyst Removal

cyst on upper lip

If you are bothered by an unsightly or painful skin cyst, we can help. At the Centre for Minor Surgery (CFMS), our plastic surgeons perform sebaceous cyst and pilar cyst removal in Toronto using a “smallest possible scar” technique to help patients from Barrie, Mississauga, and other nearby cities feel more comfortable and confident.

What are sebaceous cysts?

Sebaceous cysts, also called epidermoid cysts, are the most common type of skin cyst. These benign growths originate from the oil glands located in our skin. They form due to a blockage (cause often unknown) in the outlet of a sebaceous gland which normally allows the oils (sebum) produced by that gland to surface onto the skin. In essence, a sebaceous cyst is a blocked oil gland in the skin that enlarges as oil and fluid build-up inside it.

Where can sebaceous cysts form?

Sebaceous cysts can occur on any body part that has sebaceous glands. Common locations include:

  • Face
  • Neck
  • Upper back
  • Chest

Sebaceous cysts often cause no symptoms, especially if they are small. As they enlarge, they may become tender due to stretching of the overlying skin or if external pressure is applied to them for example by lying down on a sebaceous cyst on the back.

Is a pilar cyst the same as a sebaceous cyst?

While both are common, pilar cysts are not the same as sebaceous cysts. They are both firm, slow-growing lumps that form beneath the skin. Pilar cysts, technically called trichilemmal cysts, form in the root sheath of hair follicles typically on the scalp. The tendency to form pilar cysts often runs in families, while this is not the case for sebaceous cysts.

How much does it cost to remove a pilar or sebaceous cyst in Toronto?

At our clinic in Ontario, Canada, the starting price for pilar cyst or sebaceous cyst removal is typically $495. The actual price for your surgery will vary with the size and location of the specific cyst. We will provide you with a specific price prior to your procedure.

Do sebaceous cysts need treatment?

Sebaceous cysts can sometimes become infected and cause spontaneous tenderness in the cyst along with redness and heat. An infected sebaceous cyst may need to be treated using antibiotics and/or a surgical drainage procedure. The cyst will then usually need to be formally excised at a later date once the infection has been resolved for at least several weeks.

What happens during skin cyst removal?

At CFMS, skin cysts are treated by direct surgical excision under local anesthesia in our surgery centre. This minor surgery involves making an incision directly over the cyst, extracting the cyst surgically, and then stitching the skin closed. At CFMS, we are always laser-focused on using minimal incisions, therefore leaving the smallest scars possible when excising sebaceous and pilar cysts.

Skin Cyst FAQ

Is cyst removal painful?

Before cyst removal, our highly experienced surgeons numb the area with quick injections of a local anesthetic so you shouldn’t feel any pain.

Why do cysts form?

The cells on the surface of the skin are normally replaced as they are sloughed off. Sometimes these cells move deeper into the skin instead, where they multiply and eventually form a sac. Oil and other fluids are trapped and build up, causing a cyst.

How can I prevent skin cysts?

You can help prevent sebaceous cysts by cleaning and exfoliating the skin consistently. If your current skin cleanser is irritating, switch to a gentler option to remove dead skin cells, dirt, and oil. It’s also beneficial to moisturize your skin regularly and drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.

Visit our FAQs page for more information about minor surgery at our centre.

How do I get started?

To meet with one of the plastic surgeons at The Centre for Minor Surgery in Toronto, book a consultation using our online form or by calling (416) 663-9649.
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Meet Our Surgeons

At The Centre For Minor Surgery our goal is to provide excellence in surgical treatment for benign and cancerous growths. We strive to overcome the problem of long waiting times. No referral is needed to be seen by one of our Royal College-certified plastic surgeons.

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