What You Should Know About A Cyst Excision

What is a Cyst?

“A cyst is a small, usually benign sac that grows just beneath the skin and is filled with fluid or semi-fluid material,” shares Dr. Aron Gewirtzman, board-certified dermatologist at Sanova Dermatology in Austin, Texas. These are usually found on the trunk, but can be on the face or extremities as well.

There are many different types of cysts, each with their own considerations to be addressed, but the most common type of cysts are epidermal inclusion cysts, epidermoid cysts, and pilar cysts. These cysts are formed due to proliferation of epidermal cells or hair root sheath within the dermis, and their contents are a mixture of degraded lipid and keratin. These kind of cysts form a bump that you can feel but it usually painless, though cysts can become painful if they become infected.

Do I Need an Excision?

As a general rule, cysts only require excision if they’re swollen, painful, infected, or if they cause tissue compression or block important ducts in the body. You may decide to have a cyst removed for aesthetic reasons as well. Generally, a cyst should not be removed during an active infection, but may be drained and/or treated with oral antibiotics to alleviate symptoms, with a removal done once the infection has subsided and inflammation is decreased. “Removing a cyst lessens the possibility that it may continue to grow, grow back, or burst open, though as with everything in medicine, there are exceptions to every rule and even a cyst that appears to have been completely excised can on rare occasion grow back,” explains Dr. Gewirtzman.

What Happens During an Excision?

During most excisions, a dermatologist will first numb the area with an injectable local anesthetic before attempting to remove the cyst through as small an incision as is reasonable. A smaller incision minimizes the degree of scarring as the skin heals, but it must still be large enough to allow removal of the cyst wall. Removing all of the cyst helps prevent it from re-growing.

After the excision is complete, the area may be flushed with sterile saline, especially if any contents escaped the cyst, before the skin is closed.

Contact Us

If you want more information on cysts, or would like to make an appointment with one of our certified dermatologists, contact us at Sanova Dermatology today.

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