Cysts are a common skin condition that usually pose no threat to your health. However, they can become painful or irritating. At Silver Falls Dermatology, we offer simple and safe cyst removal in our many locations in Oregon and Washington.
What are Cysts?
A cyst is a pocket of membranous tissue just below the skin. These growths can develop virtually anywhere on the body and may contain fluid, air or various types of debris such as dead skin cells. A majority of cysts are benign, though some may require treatment due to infection or other issues.
Some common types of cysts include:
- Epidermoid cysts, which are caused by excess keratin below the skin and commonly found on the face, head, neck, back or genitals. Epidermoid cysts are typically small and slow growing.
- Cystic acne, which is the most severe type of acne. This type of acne presents as bumps that form deep below the skin’s surface as a result of hormone changes, bacteria, excess oil or dead skin cells trapped in pores.
- Ganglion cysts, which are gel-filled lumps that appear on tendons or joints. These are most common on the hands, wrists, feet or ankles.
- Pilar cysts, which are most often found on the scalp and caused by protein buildup within hair follicles.
- Sebaceous cysts, which are noncancerous growths that commonly contain liquid material. These are most commonly found on the face, neck or torso.
When Must Cysts Be Removed?
Not all cysts require removal, but it is common when the cyst grows large, persists for a long period or time or becomes painful. You may also seek cyst removal if a cyst becomes infected or grows in a sensitive area. You may choose to have a benign cyst removed if it causes discomfort or you are unhappy with the appearance of a noticeable cyst.
The Cyst Removal Procedure
The cyst removal procedure will vary depending on the type of cyst you have, the symptoms you are experiencing, the size of the cyst and other factors. After examining the cyst, your provider will inform you which removal method is necessary.
One option is to drain fluids from the cyst using a needle. This is achieved through a small injection, and no numbing or anesthesia is typically required.
Medications such as corticosteroids may also be used. This often involves an injection on or near the cyst to reduce inflammation.
If the cyst is unable to be drained or treated with medication, surgical removal may be necessary. Your provider will first numb the area using a topical medication or injection, then carefully remove the cyst through a small incision.
It is important to avoid attempting to remove a cyst at home. This can cause a risk for infection or other complications. If you wish to have a cyst removed, you should always seek treatment from a professional.
After Cyst Removal
The healing process after your cyst removal will vary depending on the technique used and the size of your cyst. Your provider will explain any aftercare instructions, such as caring for incision sites as the skin heals. Most cysts will not recur, though it is possible for a drained cyst to refill with fluid. If this occurs, schedule another appointment with your provider for further treatment, as surgical removal may be necessary.