Cysts. Do you know what they actually are? People confuse them with warts and moles, but they aren’t the same.

Cysts are noncancerous, closed pockets of tissue that can be filled with fluid, pus, or other material. Cysts are common on the skin; they can appear anywhere. They can develop due to an infection, clogging of the sebaceous glands (oil producing glands), or around something like an earring. They feel like a bump, similar to a pea, under the skin.

Leave them in peace or remove them?

Cysts usually don’t hurt and can be left to their own devices. It’s not like they are going to keep growing and one day turn into cancer. Still, sometimes they become inflamed, rupture, or infected. In these cases, it’s time for Dr. Carter at Deschutes to remove them. How she removes them depends on the type of cyst and its location.

Removing cysts

There are various methods for removing cysts.

  • Injections — Inflamed cysts may be injected with corticosteroids or triamcinolone acetonide to minimize the infection.
  • Aspiration — Dr. Carter uses a needle to drain the contents of a cyst. Prior to the aspiration, an enzyme is sometimes injected to make the contents of the cyst easier to remove. A steroid may be injected into the cyst after aspiration to prevent recurrence.
  • Incision and drainage — An incision is made on the cyst and it is drained. Cysts often recur with this method.
  • Total excision — Obviously, this is the most effective method of dealing with a cyst. If the cyst is inflamed, however, the inflammation must be addressed prior to excision.
  • Minimal excision — Because it creates minimal scarring, this method is preferred to total excision. A small incision is made to remove the contents of the cyst. Then, through the same incision, the cyst wall is removed.
  • Laser therapy — Dr. Carter may use a CO2 laser to vaporize cysts on the face or other sensitive areas. Laser removal creates minimal scarring.

Do you have a cyst that persists in bugging you? Call us at [primary_phone] and let’s take a look at it.