What are skin cysts?
Skin cysts are noncancerous bumps beneath the skin, usually filled with fluid or puss. The outer layer of skin contains cells that will shed. Cysts grow when such cells flourish beneath the skin rather than dissipate. Sometimes cysts form in reaction to skin irritation. In rare cases, disturbance of hair follicles can also cause skin cysts.
Are skin cysts the same as sebaceous cysts?
Skin cysts and sebaceous cysts are two different conditions. Sebaceous cysts are less common than skin cysts, arising from the glands that lubricate hair and skin with oily matter called sebum. When sebum clogs the sebaceous glands, cysts can form.
Can skin cysts hurt me?
Skin cysts are slow growing and usually only cause little to no discomfort, but in some cases they can be quite painful. You might choose to have a cyst removed by a doctor if it appears in a highly visible area of the body or if the growth becomes painful. If a cyst ruptures or becomes infected, it will need immediate medical attention.
Which areas of the body are most affected by skin cysts?
Skin cysts can occur anywhere, but they are most commonly found on the upper body.
What do skin cysts look like?
- Small, round bump under the skin
- Tiny blackhead plugs the central opening of a growth
- Thick, yellow, smelly material that sometimes oozes from the growth
- Redness and swelling in an unusual location, such as a finger or toe
What treatments are available at Skin And Cancer Institute for skin cysts?
When cysts are drained, your doctor will make a small cut in each cysts to open the growth and then apply pressure so the contents spill out. Depending on the size of the cysts and incisions, stitches may be needed to close the wounds.
When removing skin cysts through minor surgery, a specialist will drain fluid and then extract the entire cyst wall. Surgical intervention usually prevents cysts from regrowing, but it is not an option for every cyst.
Steroid injections may be used on skin cysts that are swollen and tender but do not contain high amounts of fluid.
In some cases, laser treatment may be helpful in permanently removing cysts that appear in highly cosmetic areas.