Skin can be reactive, from developing a rash after coming into contact with an allergen to forming a pimple where a hair follicle gets plugged.
In fact, most cysts — closed pockets of extra tissue and fluid — on the skin form because one of your sebaceous (oil) glands got clogged or something got stuck in your skin. In a lot of cases, these lumps are benign, meaning they’re not cancerous. They might even go away on their own.
If your cyst starts to hurt, though, it’s a different story. When it becomes painful, make an appointment with our team at any of our LUX Dermatology offices throughout California and Nevada.
If your cyst hurts and/or is swollen, it could be a sign that it’s either ruptured or infected. If you don’t get it treated, that infection can spread, leaving you with a bigger, more painful issue.
Your painful cyst could also be skin cancer. In fact, if your cyst changes size or shape, it’s doubly important to get it checked to ensure it doesn’t contain malignant cells.
It might be tempting to try to do something about the painful cyst yourself. But don’t try to pop or drain it on your own. If you do, you heighten your risk for infection, making the problem worse. To bring yourself some relief while you wait for your appointment, you can apply a warm compress to the area.
When you come in to one of our offices, we can remove your cyst, easing your discomfort, addressing any infection, and checking for cancerous cells in one fell swoop.
We personalize your cyst removal based on where your cyst is located and what kind of cyst you have. We’ll be more conservative about the treatment options we recommend if the cyst is somewhere highly visible like your face, for example.
We generally recommend starting by draining the cyst. We numb the area first to keep you comfortable. Then, we either make a small incision and remove the cyst contents that way or use a small needle to extract the tissue and fluid inside.
If your cyst required an incision, we pack the wound with gauze to keep it protected as the skin in the area repairs itself. You should be fully healed within a couple of weeks.
If you regularly get cysts, like with cystic acne, we can also help you make changes to reduce your risk of developing cysts in the future.
All told, that painful cyst could be an infection or skin cancer, so don’t let it go unchecked. If you have a cyst that’s causing you discomfort, call any of our offices in California or Nevada, or book an appointment online today.