Sebaceous Cysts, Epidermoid and Pilar Cysts

Sebaceous Cysts and Epidermoid Cysts are both typically known as Sebaceous cysts

Sebaceous (Epidermoid) cyst

Sebaceous Cysts look like small smooth lumps under the skin surface. They are benign (non-cancerous) and usually cause no harm or problems although they can look unsightly.

The cyst is a sac filled with cheesy-like, white keratin debris. They are typically painless. Although, they can become inflamed and irritated. They don’t require removal unless bothersome or the diagnosis is in question.

Cysts develop in various places on the body and two of the most common types of cyst that occur under the skin surface are epidermoid and pilar cysts, which are more known as sebaceous cysts.

Build-up of trapped keratin usually causes epidermoid cysts.  Keratin is a protein that occurs naturally in skin cells.  Cysts develop when the protein is trapped below the skin because of disruption to the skin or to a hair follicle.

These cysts may develop for a number of reasons, but trauma to the skin is typically thought to be the main cause. When there are numerous cysts, an underlying genetic disorder such as Gardner syndrome may be the cause..

What do these cysts look like and what are their symptoms?

Both epidermoid and pilar cysts are smooth round lumps which you can see and feel just beneath the skin surface. They are very common.  Often they are small (pea size) but sometimes they slowly get bigger over many months.

Epidermoid cysts can affect anyone but are most common in young and middle-aged adults. They can appear anywhere on the skin but develop most commonly on the face, neck, chest, and upper back.

Pilar cysts can affect anyone but are most common in middle-aged women. They can appear anywhere on the skin but develop most commonly on the scalp. It is common for several to develop at the same time on the scalp.

Cysts are not to be confused with Lipomas see details for Lipomas

Your GP will need to have confirmed prior to treatment that these are cysts and not of a medical concern


Complete removal of the cyst and sac.  A small incision is made so as to gain access to the cyst, this, 

along with the sac, is then removed and the opening sutured once ensuring all contents and sac is removed from the opening.  Care is taken to minimise scarring as much as can be possible depending on the size of the cyst.

NB any scarring can be treated at a later stage if desired.

To book your appointment for initial consultation with Lisa Knowles (our incoming practitioner), please call us on 0161 637 7626 or email us on

Please note that Initial consultations are £25.  This fee is offset against treatment price when treatment is carried out.

A GP letter or notes on diagnosis will be required.

Once assessed you will then be booked an appointment for treatment by Lisa within the following 2 weeks at a CQC surgical treatment room within 20 minutes distance from Inskin.


  • Consultation £25 standalone consultation fee or offset against treatment
  • Cyst Removal - Small £375 (small)
  • Complete Cyst Removal - Large £550 (large)