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When to See a Specialist About Your Cyst

When to See a Specialist About Your Cyst

Any bump or lump on your body can make you raise an eyebrow, but knowing when a cyst crossed the line over to a real concern can be confusing. And that's where we come in. 

Here, our team of expert dermatologists at Sanford Dermatology walks through a few key warning signs that indicate you should get help for your cyst

Where cysts come from

Cysts are small, enclosed sacs filled with solid, liquid, and sometimes gaseous substances. There are different types of cysts, but the most common are skin cysts. Skin cysts usually stem from blocked or clogged pores or glands, but they can also develop from trauma, irritation, inflammatory conditions, infections, and even parasites.

The cysts we see most often are:

None of these cysts are immediate threats to your health. But no matter which specific type of cysts you have, there's always a chance of it becoming a more serious concern. 

We have years of experience treating all sorts of cysts, so we know exactly what you're up against. Here are a few things to consider when you're wondering whether or not you need to have your cyst evaluated. 

What to look for

For most people, their cysts are simply small lumps that aren't anything more than a cosmetic concern. But that's not always the case. Cysts require medical attention if they become infected or if they start to develop other symptoms. 

Some things to look for include the following:

You should also make an appointment if your cyst ruptures or splits open. Come see us if your cyst is near a joint or on your fingers or toes. Regular movement and friction in those areas can easily cause irritation, rupture, or infection. 

Remember, you can come to see us about your cyst even if it doesn't display any of those symptoms. If it's irritating you, that's reason enough to see us. 

A note on cancerous growths vs. cysts

Finding a bump on your skin can have you automatically thinking the worst. Unfortunately, it's often difficult to tell the difference between a cyst and cancerous growth. So, we recommend that you err on the side of caution and make an appointment with us as soon as you notice it. 

What we can do 

In many cases, we can remove a minor cyst with a simple, quick in-office procedure — but that all depends on where your cyst is located, whether or not it's recurring, and how severe your other symptoms are. Minor cysts may also drain and heal on their own if you apply a warm compress on them several times a day. 

More complicated cysts that are larger, infected, and/or causing pain may require that we:

Once we've dealt with your current cyst, we advise you about how to prevent it from returning, including hygiene tips, exfoliation techniques, and other skin care strategies. 

Think your cyst needs an evaluation? We'd love to talk with you. Call or click to schedule an appointment at either our Sanford, Lillington, or Pittsboro, North Carolina, offices today. 

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