Home | Surgical Dermatology | Incision and Drainage of Cysts

What is A Cyst?

A cyst is a sac-like pocket of tissue that often contains keratin or mucin and can grow almost anywhere under the skin. While most cysts are noncancerous, there are many factors that determine whether a cyst needs treatment, including the type, size, location, and symptoms of the cyst.

There are different types of cysts that can occur, some of the most common including:

  • Epidermoid cysts/Epidermal Inclusion Cysts: Slow-growing, firm, noncancerous cysts that are caused by a buildup of keratin under the skin. These are also commonly referred to as “sebaceous cysts.”
  • Digital myxoid cysts: Small cysts that are often found around the fingernails and may increase and decrease in size
  • Ganglion cysts: Present as round, fluid-filled lumps that appear along tendons or joints on the hands, wrists, ankles, and feet.
  • Pilar cysts: Flesh-colored, round bumps that are caused by a protein buildup in a hair follicle. They are commonly found on the scalp and often run in families.

Who is a Good Candidate for Incision and Drainage of Cysts?

Individuals with cysts that are infected, are very large, are growing in a sensitive area, or are causing discomfort can benefit from incision and drainage of cysts. A consultation with one of our dermatologists is needed to determine if incision and drainage of the cyst is necessary. Even if a cyst is not causing pain or other problems, it may need to be removed. Sometimes, some tissue from the cyst is removed and tested to ensure that the cyst is not abnormal.

It is important that you do not try to drain a cyst at home, as this can lead to scarring or infection. If you are bothered by a cyst, please contact HMGS Dermatology today to schedule your appointment.

What to Expect During Incision and Drainage of Cysts?

During this procedure, the targeted area will first be numbed with a local anesthetic. Then, your dermatologist will create a small incision into the cyst using a scalpel or needle. The pus or other debris will be drained. Then, the area will be cleaned and properly bandaged. A sterile packing strip may also be placed in the treatment area.

Recovery from Incision and Drainage of Cysts

There is no downtime required following incision and drainage of cysts, and most patients do not have to take time off of work or school. Be sure to follow your dermatologist’s instructions on how to properly care for the cyst following this procedure for the best possible results and safe healing. Do not hesitate to contact our office regarding any post-procedure questions.

In some cases, cysts can refill after being drained. If you have a cyst that keeps refilling, you may want to discuss the option of surgical removal with your dermatologist.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are bothered by a cyst and are interested in learning more about incision and drainage of cysts, contact HMGS Dermatology today! Our team will be happy to help you schedule your initial consultation appointment with one of our dermatology specialists.

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