Human skin is good at growing other stuff that isn’t made up of skin cells. Warts, moles, pimples, skin cancer, actinic keratoses…and cysts. It’s just that “cysts” sounds almost more threatening. Dr. Kronberg wants to give you a little primer on cysts to know when to do something about them and when to let them be.
What are cysts?
Cysts are noncancerous, closed pockets of tissue that can be filled with fluid, pus, or other material. They can develop as a result of an infection, from clogging of the sebaceous glands (cystic acne), or around foreign bodies such as earrings. They are common, can feel like large peas under the skin’s surface, and usually don’t require much attention. But sometimes they do.
Why should a cyst be removed?
Most cysts are kind of like squatters, living off your skin but not paying rent. They keep to themselves and can usually be left alone. But in cases where they are inflamed, rupture, or become infected you’ll probably want Dr. Kronberg to take them off.
How Dr. Kronberg removes cysts
How we remove a cyst is dependent upon its location and type.
- Incision and drainage — Simply put, Dr. Kronberg cuts the cyst open and drains out its contents. With this method, however, the cyst often returns.
- Injections — Inflamed cysts can be injected with a steroid or triamcinolone acetonide to minimize the inflammation and cause the cyst to shrink.
- Aspiration — For this method, she may inject the cysts with an enzyme solution to make the cyst contents easier to remove. Then a needle is inserted to drain out the contents of the cyst. Afterwards, Dr. Kronberg may inject the cyst with a steroid to make it go the way of the dodo bird.
- Excision — Obviously, this is the surest way to make the cyst go away. But Dr. Kronberg can’t cut it out if the cyst is still inflamed. We have to treat that first.
- Minimal excision — To minimize scarring, we use a tiny incision if possible, drain the cyst, and then totally remove it through the same small incision.
- Laser therapy — Our CO2 lasers can vaporize cysts on sensitive areas such as the face. There is only minimal scarring.