Cysts are noncancerous and usually harmless, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with them. Cysts can cause pain and get infected. Furthermore, cysts can cause embarrassment, especially if they’re located in a visible spot, such as your face or neck. In all of these cases, cyst removal can help.
At the practice of Ali Hendi, MD, in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Dr. Hendi and our team of skin cancer experts remove cysts using techniques that minimize scarring.
Here, we explore the basics of cysts, including what to expect from a removal procedure.
Cyst causes and symptoms
Regarding cysts that develop under the skin, they’re sacs that are filled with fluid, pus, or other material. Most often, cysts develop due to a blocked duct caused by injury, irritation, or genetic factors. They can also form when cells that are intended to protect your body move deeper into your skin and multiply rather than slough off.
The most common type is known as an epidermoid cyst, and they often appear as a small, round lump beneath the skin of the face, neck, or trunk. They often have the following:
- A blackhead at the center
- Fluid that drains from the bump, which may be thick, yellow, or foul-smelling
- Redness, swelling, and tenderness at and around the site
Other types include dermoid cysts, which often appear near the eyebrows, scalp, collarbone, or chest, and ganglion cysts, which commonly form along joints or tendons of the hand or wrist.
While anyone can develop a cyst, they’re most likely to develop after puberty or an injury. Certain hereditary disorders, such as Von Hippel-Lindau, may also contribute to their development.
The cyst removal process
One positive aspect of dealing with a cyst is the fact that all of the treatments are minimally invasive. Depending on the specifics of your cyst and symptoms, your treatment options may include:
- An injection for reduced inflammation, swelling, and infection
- Drainage through an incision to flatten the cyst
- Minor surgery to remove the cyst
While drainage tends to be quick and relatively simple, you run a higher chance of recurrence compared to surgical removal. Minor surgery can permanently do away with a cyst, although you may need stitches while the incision heals.
If you do wish to have a cyst removed, it’s important that you leave it to professionals. If you attempt to squeeze it away, you run the risk of infection and scarring. Until your appointment arrives, you can soothe an uncomfortable cyst with a warm, moist towel.
To learn more about cyst removal or to get the care you need, call 301-259-5710 or book an appointment online with the practice of Ali Hendi, MD, today.