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Cyst Treatment in Baton Rouge

A cyst is a closed, sac-like formation under the skin, typically filled with fluid or other semisolid material. It presents as a smooth, firm lump on the skin, similar to a boil or abscess. When cysts form, they develop a capsule-like wall around the skin, hair follicles, blood and other bodily materials they store. This wall cannot dissolve on its own and, thus, typically requires a minor surgery procedure to remove the cyst wall and prevent it from refilling. Cysts are usually painless and benign; however, when infected, they can become very painful. If you have questions about Cysts schedule an appointment with our Cyst specialists in Baton Rouge.

Cysts are common and can occur anywhere on or inside of the body, including the bones, organs and soft tissues. Some of the most common places for cysts to develop include: the ovaries, breasts, earlobes, hands, eyelids, buttocks, back of the knee, face, chest, neck and scalp. Cysts are typically caused by infection, chronic inflammation, genetic conditions, clogging or blockages in the ducts or glands, tumors and parasitic activity. They are not contagious, and there is little one can do to prevent cysts from developing.

The vast majority of cysts are classified as benign (non-cancerous); however, on rare occasions, cancer can lead to the formation of cysts. If you’re unsure whether your cyst is benign or cancerous, we recommend scheduling a consultation with your dermatologist to have the mass professionally evaluated. Like a cyst, a tumor can develop anywhere in the body, so it’s best to err on the side of caution by seeking a professional medical opinion.

How do you get a cyst?

Cysts are a common dermatological problem that can affect any part of the body. Anyone can develop cysts, regardless of race, gender or age; however, certain factors put some people at higher risk of developing cysts that others.

Risk factors for developing cysts include:

  • History of acne
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Skin injuries
  • Harboring a parasite
  • Infections
  • Chronic inflammatory conditions

Unlike boils, which are filled with pus and can spread bacteria or fungi on contact, cysts are not contagious.

Most common types of cysts

There are more than 100 different types of cysts. They can range in size from microscopic and too small to feel, to macrocysts, which can grow to be larger in size than a basketball. The largest documented cyst weighed about 50 pounds.

The most common dermatological-related cysts are listed below:

  • Acne cysts – Cystic acne is a skin condition that occurs when the pores in the skin become blocked, inflamed and infected.
  • Baker’s cysts – Also called popliteal cysts, a Baker’s cyst forms behind the knee and is typically caused by arthritis or injury.
  • Chalazion cysts – Also known as a Meibomian cyst, a chalazion cyst appears as a firm lump on the upper or lower eyelid and is caused by chronic inflammation of the Meibomian gland.
  • Dermoid cysts – This type of cyst often develops on the face or around the eye and is present at birth.
  • Epididymal cysts – Epididymal cysts form on the testes and are estimated to affect between 20 and 40 percent of American males.
  • Ganglion cysts – Also called bible cysts, ganglion cysts are noncancerous lumps that are often visible on the wrists and hands.
  • Pilar cysts – Also known as a trichilemmal cyst, wen or isthmus-catagen cyst, a pilar cyst is a benign cyst typically found on the scalp.
  • Sebaceous cysts – Also called a wen, a sebaceous cyst typically develops on the face, neck and trunk and typically goes away within a few months.

Why does a cyst require treatment?

While cysts may go away on their own after a few months, they often return after a period of time. In order to stop the painful cycle, the cyst should be treated professionally before it ruptures and refills. When cysts rupture, they often leave behind scar tissue that may make it more challenging to treat in the future. To avoid the pain and scarring from chronically ruptured cysts, it’s often best to have the cyst surgically removed by a licensed dermatologist. Dermatologists rely on a variety of treatment options to remove cysts, the most common of which include draining, medications and surgical excision. Depending on the size, location and appearance of your cyst, your dermatologist may perform a biopsy on your cyst to rule out any suspicion of cancer. 

When to seek treatment for your cyst

In order to prevent infection, scarring and possible blood poisoning, it’s important that you do not attempt to pop, drain, squeeze or remove the cyst yourself but instead seek professional medical care. If your cyst is causing you pain or to feel self-conscious, we recommend that you call Sanova Dermatology Baton Rouge today to schedule an appointment. Any discomfort may be a sign of infection, rupture, or worse. In certain instances, the abnormal growth may be cancerous, so it is wise to be cautious and have it examined by a trained professional. At your appointment, your dermatologist may wish to remove a tissue sample for testing.

How to treat a cyst

Treatment for your cyst will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of cyst, size, where the cyst is located, aesthetic factors, and the level of discomfort the cyst is causing. While many types of cysts eventually resolve within a matter of months, other types are permanent or may require draining, antibiotics and/or surgical excision. If you have a painful or unsightly cyst that you would like to have removed, we recommend calling Sanova Dermatology today to book your appointment.

During your Baton Rouge dermatology appointment, a licensed physician will examine your cyst to assess whether the mass is cancerous or benign, and he or she will determine the best method of treatment for your situation. In certain cases, when a cyst is neither uncomfortable or obtrusive, you may wish to leave it to heal on its own. In other cases, when the cyst may be uncomfortable, potentially dangerous or aesthetically displeasing, your dermatologist or other healthcare provider may present treatment options for removal.

The most common methods for treating and removing cysts are as follows:

  • Draining – Depending on the size, type and location of the cyst, your dermatologist may be able to drain the fluids from the cyst with a sterilized needle.
  • Medications – Dermatologists can prescribe medications such as oral antibiotics and corticosteroid injections to treat certain types of cysts.
  • Surgical excision – For internal cysts, and when less-invasive removal options such as draining and mediations do not work, your dermatologist may recommend surgical excision treatment, which can be done with a scalpel or laser. Dermatologists rely on three types of excision techniques to remove unwanted cysts: conventional wide excision, minimal excision and punch biopsy excision. Depending on the size of the cyst and the type of excision technique used, it may take an hour or less to fully remove the unwanted cyst.

Risks of removing a cyst

For a trained dermatologist or other medical practitioner, removing a cyst is typically a straightforward procedure. However, if done incorrectly, it can lead to complications such as bleeding, pain, infection, and unnecessary scarring. At Sanova Dermatology in Baton Rouge, we’re proud to offer top-of-the-line cosmetic surgery and post-surgical treatment to ensure that any scarring from cyst removal is kept as minimal as possible.

Contact Sanova Dermatology of Baton Rouge

For more information, or to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Baton Rouge dermatologists, please contact Sanova Dermatology today.