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What are Cysts?

A cyst is a sac-like pocket of tissue that contains fluid or other substances. They are a common type of skin lesion that can occur anywhere on the body but most often appear on the scalp, face, neck, and trunk. Cysts usually appear as skin nodules, often with a central pore. They are freely moveable underneath the skin and are usually shiny and smooth when pressure is applied to the affected area. They may drain clear to bloody discharge and often pus or cheesy material may be expressed. Most cysts are benign (non-cancerous).

Sebaceous Cysts

Sebaceous cysts are one of the most common types of cysts. Most often found on the face, neck, chest, stomach, scalp, or back. They are slow-growing and usually painless unless they become inflamed, infected, or form in a sensitive area. Sebaceous cysts are caused when a hair follicle becomes plugged with oil, sweat, dirt, and dead skin cells.

Should Cysts Be Removed?

Whether or not a cyst requires treatment and/or removal depends on a number of factors, including:

  • the type of cyst
  • where the cyst is located
  • whether or not the cyst is causing pain or discomfort

What are my treatment options?

  • Small cysts can be shrunk with diluted injected steroids.

  • Cysts can be drained, but draining does not remove the cyst, it may return. 

  • Cysts are analogous to having a water balloon under the skin – the “balloon” must be removed in order to cure the cyst.

  • Cyst removal requires a simple surgical excision completed in the office under local anesthesia.

To find out what the best treatment is for you, make an appointment with us today.

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