Causes Of Cysts
Cysts don’t normally hurt but can be tender, sore and red if they become infected. The cyst forms a dome-shaped bump which is yellow or whitish with a small, dark plug from where pus can emerge.
They are harmless and subside in time but it is advisable to have them checked by a GP to make sure it is not something else that needs treatment. Anyone can develop a cysts but it is more likely if you have had acne or are going through puberty.
They are caused when the surface layers of skin cells move deeper into the skin and multiply rather than being shed by the body. The skin then creates a sac and produces keratin which forms a thick, yellow substance. Some cysts form around hair follicles, typically affecting middle aged adults, while others are commonly found on the face, neck, chest, shoulders or skin around the genitals and are more likely on people who have had acne.
Treatment Of Cysts
A GP or dermatologist should be consulted if the cyst grows rapidly, ruptures or becomes infected or is troubling for cosmetic reasons. Skin cells can be scraped off and examined under a microscope or a skin sample can be sent for detailed analysis by a laboratory.
A range of treatments are available including injecting the cyst with a medicine to reduce the swelling and inflammation, a small incision to the cyst under local anaesthetic followed by the pus being gently squeezed out, and minor surgery to remove the entire cyst. A carbon dioxide laser can also be used to destroy the cyst and antibiotics may be prescribed on their own or in combination with the procedures.