At Village Dermatology in Houston, cyst removal can be arranged for painful, irritated, or cosmetically annoying cysts. Cysts are bumps underneath the surface of the skin that are made up of oil and skin cells housed within a thin, sac-like structure. They are often referred to as "sebaceous cysts," "epidermoid cysts," or "epidermal inclusion cysts." The proper medical term is "infundibular cyst," which is more accurate because it explains where the cyst originates and how it forms.
Cysts usually present themselves as a small, round bump under the surface of the skin. The most common locations include the face, the neck, and the trunk, though they can appear on any part of the body. A special variant on the scalp is known as a pilar cyst. Sometimes the bump will have a tiny blackhead at the center that plugs the opening of the cyst. Patients may notice drainage from the cyst that is usually thick, yellow, and cheese-like in consistency. This is normal, though if the cyst becomes infected, the drainage may turn purulent (yellow, pus-like drainage that is foul-smelling). Other signs of infection include redness, swelling, and tenderness.
Most cysts don't need treatment, but it is a good idea to see a dermatologist to make sure that a cyst is what you have. Other reasons to seek treatment include if the cyst is growing rapidly, if it ruptures or becomes painful, if there are any signs of infection, or if it occurs in a spot that is constantly irritated. Most people come to see us to have the cyst evaluated for cosmetic purposes. If the cyst bothers you cosmetically, we can discuss options for removal.