One of the most common, normal, benign growths that people show me on their skin are skin cysts and the natural question that follows is, “Doctor, should I have the cyst removed?” and the short answer is , yes you should because often cysts will become infected and when do become infected they are very painful and if you remove that cyst preventatively on your schedule, you take control of the situation. If you wait and leave the cyst and it becomes infected at 3:00 in the morning when you’re on vacation or any other time, you’re then compromised and you have a very much more difficult situation. Let me explain what’s going on. This is a diagram of the skin and this of course is the hair shaft and the hair follicle as it comes out through the top and I’m going to show you something that’s very small just next to the bottom of the hair shaft and it’s right at the edge of my pointer and it’s this little round area and that the oil gland and the oil gland make oil and it delivers oil to the surface of the skin through a tiny little duct that goes into the hair shaft, oil comes up along the hair and out onto the skin. But if that little duct over here gets clogged, the oil gland doesn’t know that it’s clogged and it keeps making more oil. And that oil gland instead of being this small size becomes this big and that’s when you have a big lump under your skin and you have a cyst. And at some point, that oil becomes infected and when it does that’s when you’re in trouble because it enlarges, it’s very painful, it’s red and you are really, really uncomfortable. So to avoid that type of situation, where it becomes an emergency and then you need to get medical help at a time when you may not be prepared like on a vacation or in the middle of the night, prepare to have your cyst removed electively. You schedule it and then that way you take control of the situation.