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Say Hello To My Little Friend

July 14, 2011

That there folks is a photo of the top of my head.

You see that little round, bald-ish area?

That’s José.

José is a pilar cyst.  Pilar cysts are non-cancerous cysts that most commonly grow on the scalp.  They generally affect middle-aged (ahem) women and their occurrence can be genetic.

José first came to visit me about a year ago when I was pregnant.  My dermatologist offered to remove him back then, but as childbirth was impending I decided to forego any unnecessary surgical procedures.

Since then, José has grown to approximately the size of an M&M (regular, not peanut) and has overstayed his welcome.

So tomorrow José will be leaving via an outpatient excision.  I will be accompanied by my sister-in-law Lisa, who is a paramedical esthetician and loves nothing more than to marvel at mildly grotesque skin oddities.

Adios Amigo!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2011 5:52 pm

    oh my pain in the ass… good luck you brave girl – that sucks. I think things like that are more prone to overgrowth during pregnancy… (things like this that mothers don’t care to share, but shame on them for shocking the hell out of the rest of us who blindly walk into pregnancy expecting chirping birds and glowing faces)!

  2. ava permalink
    July 14, 2011 7:24 pm

    Can’t resist the cyst.

  3. August 6, 2011 4:02 pm

    How was the cyst excision? Was it painful? I have a few that need to be removed as they are getting worse. I keep putting it off. Ick.

    • Kristin Steiner permalink*
      August 6, 2011 5:43 pm

      Thanks for your comment. It wasn’t too bad. The most painful part of the excision was getting the anesthesia; it’s similar to getting a cavity filled and getting pinched with novacain around the entire area. The pinches hurt momentarily. Once the area was numb, I didn’t feel a thing. The entire thing took less than 30 minutes and I had two stitches. My head was sore for about a week afterward and it was a little “pinchy” to get the stitches removed as well.

      Overall, I’m glad I got it done. It had been bothering me for a while and the biopsy came back negative, as expected.

      Not sure where you are located, but if you’re near the Denver area, I can make a great physician recommendation.


      • vic gross permalink
        October 29, 2011 9:44 pm

        Hey! So random, but I came across your blog in researching my pilar cyst on my scalp…which i also got when I was pregnant that has also grown to the size of a peanut m&m actually. it hurts. and i do want to get it removed, but I am concerned about the hair loss in that area…its also RIGHT on top of my head. how is your healing? do you have a bald area? so gross and totally weird, right? thanks. v

  4. Kristin Steiner permalink*
    October 30, 2011 9:00 am

    Thanks so much for your comment. I’m glad so many people are finding this post helpful. I found very little information on pilar cysts when I was researching them and absolutely no correlation between the cysts and pregnancy (or hormone issues). But I’m finding out they are a lot more common than I first realized. So not so random after all 🙂

    I too was concerned about hair loss in the area of my cyst. There was no need to shave the area around my cyst for the excision, but there was a small bald area after it was removed. For about two months afterward I had to part my hair on the opposite side (my cyst was located on the top of my head, slightly to the left), but I was doing that anyway to hide the cyst. But honestly, it was hardly noticeable and the hair has since filled in.

    Overall, I am so, so glad that I got it removed. And if your cyst is painful, then I would definitely get it removed.

    • vic gross permalink
      November 1, 2011 5:00 pm

      Thanks. I will let you know…Take care.

    • Charlotte permalink
      November 9, 2011 9:11 pm

      Another “looking for info about a pilar cyst” visitor…this is exactly what I wanted to know! I’ve had a tiny bump on my scalp for years, but in the past few months it’s gotten bigger and it HURTS. The only thing that’s changed for me is that I got a Mirena IUD…I wonder if the hormones from that triggered the growth? Hmm. Anyway, thanks for your upbeat account of the removal process — I’m dreading it much less now. 🙂

      • Kristin Steiner permalink*
        November 10, 2011 9:07 am

        Thanks for your comment Charlotte. Let me know how it goes for you. 🙂


  5. theresa permalink
    October 19, 2012 11:17 pm

    Interesting…researching this before I get my surgery done–and oddly enough mine showed up just after I got the Mirena IUD as well…maybe you are onto something, Charlotte! Thanks for sharing–

  6. SarahinSC permalink
    July 11, 2014 7:22 pm

    Searching for pilar cysts and your Jose looks just like my unnamed “friend”! Ugh! I’m going to head to the doc to see about getting it removed. I’ve got three others that have popped up in the past few months. Hope you haven’t grown anymore cysts!

  7. yaz permalink
    January 1, 2016 10:23 pm

    Did this leave a bald spot? I have a few bigger ones and as a woman Im so scared to have bald patches😩

    • Kristin Steiner permalink*
      January 1, 2017 10:21 am

      There was a small bald spot while the incision healed, but then my hair filled in over it nicely.

  8. November 9, 2020 5:59 pm

    Not sure if you’ll see this since this post was quite some time ago. But I’ve got this same thing in the same spot! Going to doc next week but I waswondering, did your hair grow back after you had it removed??,

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