Several subscribers have asked us how lasers can be used to remove a cyst.

A sebaceous cyst is a benign lesion of the skin, which looks like a closed sac or cyst below the surface of the skin that has a lining that resembles the uppermost part of a hair follicle that is filled with a fatty white, semi-solid material called sebum. Sebum is produced by sebaceous glands of the epidermis. More about Sebaceous Cyst.

Traditional techniques to remove cyst are:

  1. conventional wide excision (can remove the cyst completely but with a potentially big scar),
  2. minimal excision (similar to the punch technique, which can achieve minimal scarring but carries a risk of recurrence), and
  3. punch biopsy excision (high risk of recurrence).

For large cysts or cysts located in areas of thick skin, the cyst wall is more friable or not easy to squeeze. Complete cyst removal with a better cosmetic appearance in these cases is more difficult to achieve.

A new procedure for treating a Sebaceous Cyst was recently published by study group from China.

Chinese physicians have documented a what seems to be a very effective treatment protocol. They use laser punches to prepare the cyst for the removal of the content with a minimal excision.

The new method with two steps is proposed:

  • A CO2 laser is used to make a small hole for removal of the cyst content;
  • then the cyst wall is removed entirely with a minimal excision about 1 month later.

The method offers a good alternative for eradication of uninfected cysts with only a small scar, especially large cysts or cysts located in areas of thick skin or cosmetic concern. Images and more detailed description of the laser cyst removal procedure.