Cysts are quite common among the general population and are almost always benign in nature. A cyst can develop anywhere on your body, including your scalp, face, back, arms, or legs. They occur when dead skin cells, fluid, or other tissue begins to collect under the skin, triggering the body to enclose the tissue in a sac. The cyst then grows as more fluid or tissue collects in the sac. Most cysts are not painful, though some patients allow the cyst to grow until it causes discomfort or it becomes visible to others. When we see patients with larger cysts, we usually send a sample for a biopsy to ensure it isn't dangerous. If you have developed a cyst you are worried about or simply need a doctor to remove it, contact Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology San Francisco & Marin. Dr. Tracy Evans is an experienced, board-certified dermatologist who has helped hundreds of individuals dealing with cysts.
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There are many factors that can trigger a cyst to form, though the vast majority of cysts we treat are caused by blocked oil glands. Other conditions that might result in a cyst are chronic infection or inflammation, blocked drainage ducts, and genetic conditions. Cysts can also develop around a foreign object embedded in the skin, such as metal shavings, and around piercings. It is important to have any cyst examined by a dermatologist, though almost all cysts are benign, there is a small chance they are precancerous or cancerous.
Different types of cysts have different symptoms, though minor cysts, which we see most often, are usually painless bumps just beneath the skin. You may also notice the skin around the cyst feeling harder. The type of cyst you have will be diagnosed based on its size, location, whether there is any discomfort, and other factors. While most typical cysts do not hurt, they can eventually grow large enough to rupture, which will cause some pain. If they grow in an area with friction, such as in the armpit, chafing can also cause discomfort.
Common treatments for cysts include simply draining the area with a syringe or surgically excising the growth. We can also use a cortisone injection to shrink some cysts, either to avoid surgery or allow a much smaller incision. The good news is that most types of cysts can be effectively treated once a proper diagnosis is made.
Treatment for cysts
If you are suffering from a cyst and would like to receive treatment, we invite you to call Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology to schedule an appointment. A thorough exam of the cyst will be performed so an effective removal plan can be made for you. Cysts often cause unnecessary concern so we encourage anyone who is feeling anxious about a growth beneath the skin to have a consultation at our San Francisco, CA facility. Dr. Tracy Evans and her team are ready to help.