Cyst Specialist

MD Dermatology & Laser Center

Sanjiv K. Saini, M.D.

Board Certified Dermatologist & Cosmetic Surgeon located in Gambrills, MD & Edgewater, MD

Finding a lump on your body can be scary. The first question that usually comes up in your mind is whether or not it's cancer. The body is an imperfect thing — most lumps are just lumps that don't need to be removed and can't hurt you. However, if you find a concerning lump, book an appointment online with Sanjiv K. Saini, MD, at MD Dermatology & Laser Center. They have offices in Gambrills, Edgewater, and Lexington Park, Maryland.

Cyst Q & A

What is a cyst?

A cyst is a closed pocket or sac filled with air, fluid, or some other material. Most cysts are benign or noncancerous (although some cancers can form cysts). Cysts can form anywhere in the body and usually aren’t painful, but they won’t go away on their own.

Although there are many types of cysts, there are three major types of skin cysts.


Epidermal cyst forms on the face, ears, neck, back, and scalp. These benign cysts are one of the most common skin cysts and are filled with keratin. They may form as a result of hair follicle clogging due to severe acne, or from a penetrating injury.


Trichilemmal cysts, or wens, are also benign and mostly occur on the scalp. This cyst develops in the lining of hair follicles containing keratin. As the keratin in the follicle builds up, it creates the cyst. These cysts vary greatly in size, ranging from a quarter to the size of a small ball.


Milia cysts look like white lesions and occur on the face (mostly around the eyes). When milia cysts occur in babies and infants, they usually go away on their own. Some adults choose to remove milia cysts for cosmetic purposes.

What’s the difference between a cyst and a tumor?

Although both cysts and tumors can be benign or cancerous (malignant) and can occur anywhere in your body, they’re two very different medical issues. A tumor is a mass of abnormal cells. Unlike cysts, tumors can grow fast and are firm to the touch.

How do you treat cysts?

Although cysts don’t go away on their own, not all cysts require treatment. Dr. Saini evaluates treatment needs based on:

  • If the cyst is infected
  • Where the cyst is located
  • What kind of cyst it is
  • If it’s painful

If the cyst needs to be drained, Dr. Saini will insert a needle to drain the fluid and give you an injection to reduce inflammation. Never try draining a cyst on your own, as it may lead to infection.

Another option for treating a cyst is to surgically remove it. Surgery is used if draining fails or if the cyst is located internally.

If you notice a lump on your body, book an appointment with Dr. Saini at MD Dermatology & Laser Center, with offices in Gambrills, Edgewater, and Lexington Park, Maryland. Go online to make an appointment or call today.


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