How to Treat a Stubborn Cyst?

I got a cyst 4 months ago. I've had 5 steroid injections in it. It shrinks temporarily but then swells up again. It's firm but flucuates and feels like a "sac" filled with gel. I want to know if any of you derms have seen a cyst last this long? If so, how long do I have to wait to see healing. I have thought about excision but am afraid of scarring. Also a surgon said I shouldn't touch it for 6 months because the cortisone would prevent proper healing and leave a bad scar. Is this true? Thanks

Doctor Answers 3

Treatment of cysts

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Cysts are not dangerouns but can be quite a nuisance.  While steroid injections can temporarily quiet them down, they do not address the underlying the issue- that there is a sac under the skin that enlarges when it is filled with contents.  THe only way to truly remove it is to excise it.  This should be done when the cyst is not red or inflamed with any signs of infection.  If done when the cyst is at its smallest, an excision can often be achieved with a minimal scar.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Treating cysts

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I treat countless cysts and the key thing is to inject properly - the right depth, concentration etc. Injections often work (especially for inflamed/red cysts), but not always. I'd wait perhaps 3 months, and then have your dermatologist or plastic surgeon excise it if still unresolved. There may be a small scar, but better than a permanent cyst. Also, the bigger the cyst gets, the bigger the scar will be.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

Stubborn cyst

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Leave it alone for 6 months or so, see a plastic surgeon and consider having it excised.  A cyst has a lining that if not removed will lead to recurrence.

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