Cysts may only be a minor inconvenience at first, but given enough time, many develop into a worrisome lump. Furthermore, cysts can appear anywhere on your body from the surface of the skin on your face to deep within the joints on your limbs. No matter the size or location of the cyst, they all share the same factor, the risk of infection and other complications if left untreated. Luckily, you can have most cysts treated right at the walk in clinic after a brief examination. Read on to learn more information.
When the oil glands in your skin develop a blockage, one or more sebaceous cysts will appear. These cysts often appear on the face or neck and feel soft to the touch. Unless infection sets in, the skin-colored cyst will not swell up, hurt or turn red. The second it appears infected, however, you must seek diagnosis and treatment from your walk in clinic practitioner.
Your practitioner may remove the contents of the cyst by making a small incision across its surface. After draining, it may be necessary to pack the inside of the cyst with gauze. The packing requires daily replacement to help drain away the infectious material and promote healing of the wound site from the inside out.
If the oil glands around your eyelids develop a blockage, a small cyst, called a chalazion, will appear. Since the eye area is so sensitive, this type of cyst will frequently look inflamed and hurt badly despite a lack of infection. If the cyst is allowed to burst on its own, scar tissue could develop in your eyelid, causing lasting damage.
As a result, physicians often aggressively treat this condition by clearing out the blocked gland. In addition to recommending the use of hot compresses several times a day, doctors often prescribe a high quality antibiotic ointment for direct application on the eyelid. Careful injection of steroids can also cause the cyst to decrease in size or even disappear in just a few days.
A hard lump on your wrist or ankle joint, called a ganglion cyst, is often caused by fluid leaking out of the joint capsule. The cyst may change shape or size after intense exercise or other forms of physical activity.
Early treatment of these cysts involved smashing the lump with a heavy book. Unfortunately, that approach often resulted in the cyst capsule refilling with fluid anyway. If the cyst impedes movement of your joint, your general practitioner will take a modern approach to its removal. Your doctor will likely use a small-needled syringe to gently pull all of the fluid out of the capsule. Your doctor may also inject the cyst location with steroids to further encourage healing.
If joint fluid in your knees leaks out and creates a small, soft growth, it is called a Baker's cyst. You may only notice this cyst if it ruptures and causes pain or difficulties walking. Despite its rupture, the cyst walls often stay intact and could start to fill up with joint fluid again during the healing process.
You will need to have the cyst location injected with cortisone to keep joints from swelling, which could increase fluid accumulation inside the cyst walls. You may also need the joint fluid periodically removed from your knee cavity to help keep the cyst from returning.
Seeking Specialist Help
If initial treatments do not work, your general practitioner at the walk in clinic may refer you out to a specialist. The type of specialist you will see depends on the cyst type and location. Physicians also take the severity of the cyst and any underlying conditions into account when finding you the best specialist. Since you may need to wait a few weeks to see a specialist, you should still have your walk in clinic doctor monitor the condition of the cyst in the meantime. If any issues are found, you may be sent to the local emergency room for prompt treatment.