Warning: Your web browser is outdated, which may cause this website to display improperly. Click here to update.


A sebaceous cyst is a collection of cells that originates from the skin (epidermoid cysts) or from hair follicles (pilar cysts).  The cyst formation starts when a group of cells that usually forms on top of the skin begins to grow deeper in the skin.



What do cysts look like?

Sebaceous cysts can form on any part of the body and usually appear as small, firm bumps under the skin.  Sometimes, a small opening is visible, called a punctum, which can look like a blackhead.

When should cysts be removed?

Sebaceous cyst removal isn’t necessary unless they are cosmetically bothersome, have become irritated by rubbing, or are swollen, red, or painful.  If your cyst is currently red and painful, Dr. Jennifer Janiga may choose to put you on antibiotics for a period of time prior to the surgical removal of your cyst.  The sebaceous cyst treatment may also include injecting the area with steroids to decrease the inflammation and pain, which can sometimes reduce the size of the cyst.

How are cysts removed?

Cysts are removed by surgical incision, wherein the area is anesthetized with an injection, an incision is made, and the cyst is removed.  Stitches are placed to close the skin, which can leave a noticeable scar.  Sometimes, the sebaceous cyst can regenerate in the same location, but if it returns, it can be removed again.

Do you treat or remove cysts at your Reno office?

Yes. Appointment length varies depending on the number of cysts, but is usually between 15-30 minutes.

For more information or to set up a consultation with Dr. Jennifer Janiga, dermatologist in Reno, NV, for pilar or epidermoid cyst evaluations or removal, please send us an email or call 775-398-4600.

Jennifer J. Janiga, MD, FAAD

Dr. Janiga enjoys taking care of both adults and children. Her extensive training and years of experience in medical dermatology, lasers, and cosmetic procedures allows her to treat her patients with the comprehensive attention they deserve.

Dr. Janiga listens attentively to what patients have to say, and works with them in planning the right course of action on an individual basis. Honest talk, humility and a fresh perspective paired with years of experience and education all contribute to the effectiveness of her straightforward care.