Cysts Need Not Persist

Medical Dermatology Hillsboro, ORIf you follow college football, you may have heard that Urban Meyer, coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes, has announced retirement due to a cyst in his brain that is causing headaches. He has said he needs to reduce stress to better deal with the cyst, so he is leaving the coaching profession.

People wonder what a cyst is, so in this month’s blog from the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, let’s get into cysts.

What is a cyst?

Human skin is prone to growths that aren’t normal skin cells: warts, moles, skin cancers, pimples, actinic keratoses, and cysts. Cysts are noncancerous, closed pockets of tissue that can be filled with fluid, pus, or other material. They can develop as a result of an infection, from clogging of the sebaceous glands (cystic acne), or around foreign bodies such as earrings. They are common, can feel like large peas under the skin’s surface, and usually don’t require much attention. But sometimes they do. When is a cyst nothing to worry about, and when is it otherwise, as with Mr. Meyer?

Why should a cyst be removed?

Most cysts are quiet neighbors just living off the land, your skin. They keep to themselves and can usually be left alone. But in cases where they are inflamed, rupture, or become infected we’ll usually want to take them off.

How we remove cysts at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery

How we remove a cyst is dependent upon its location and type.

  • Injections — Inflamed cysts can be injected with a steroid or triamcinolone acetonide to minimize the inflammation and cause the cyst to shrink.
  • Aspiration— For this method, we may inject the cysts with an enzyme solution to make the cyst contents easier to remove. We then insert a needle and drain out the contents of the cyst. Afterwards, we may inject the cyst with a steroid to make it go away.
  • Incision and drainage— Simply put, we cut the cyst open and drain out its contents. With this method, however, the cyst often returns.
  • Excision— Obviously, this is the surest way to make the cyst go away. But we can’t cut it out if the cyst is still inflamed. We have to treat that first.
  • Minimal excision— To minimize scarring, we use a tiny incision if possible, drain the cyst, and then totally remove it through the same small incision.
  • Laser therapy— Our CO2 lasers can vaporize cysts on sensitive areas such as the face. There is only minimal scarring.

Do you have a cyst you’d like us to check out? Call us at (503) 297-3440 to schedule your appointment.

Posted in: Medical Dermatology

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