Simple skin cysts are some of the most frequently encountered growths in dermatology. A cyst is a closed sac within or beneath the skin that usually contains semi-solid material consisting of proteins and oil. The material is trapped and can increase in volume over time, often becoming a nuisance, caused by discomfort, odor or unsightliness. Some people have a genetic tendency to form benign cysts and may experience several throughout their lifetime. Cysts are typically benign and can be removed in a simple in-office surgical excision under local anesthesia. Most health insurance plans include cyst excision as a covered benefit. Though cyst symptoms usually tend to be quite minimal, cysts can become very painful if they become ruptured, inflamed or infected. In this case, a cyst may need to be opened and drained and then packed with gauze for a number of days to a week. If this occurs to a cyst, we often recommend removing it in the weeks to months after to avoid recurrence.