Cyst Removal in NOVA

While acne and moles are the most widely recognizable skin marks, they are by no means the only features that can develop on your face and body. Of all the other skin growths you can develop, cysts and tags are among the most common. These features often start out small and localized, and many people do not at first realize that they have them. While they are usually benign, they can sometimes threaten your health or quality of life. We are thus happy to offer inspections and treatments for both.

Surmising Skin Tags

Skin tags are small bulges that grow on skin that has been subject to large amounts of friction. They tend to develop in areas where bits of skin rub together on a regular basis, such as under the armpits, beneath the breasts, on the underarms, above and beneath the eyelids, and in the intersection between the thighs and the groin. Tags can develop on people of any age or health background, but they are particularly likely to affect adults who are overweight. Genetics also appears to play a role; if your parents or close relatives have these growths, you are likely to get them as well.

While there is little that you can do to prevent skin tags, they are relatively easy to remove. While these growths are not cancerous and generally present little to no direct health risk, many people still choose to get them removed for:

  • Cosmetic Concerns– Some people do not like the look of skin tags, especially if they develop in visible areas. Because removing them carries few risks, it is perfectly acceptable to have them treated for cosmetic reasons alone.
  • Pain Prevention– If skin tags come into contact with jewelry or harsh clothing, they can become irritated and painful. Removing them is the most reliable way to protect yourself from this pain.
  • Impeding Infection– Skin tags that regularly become irritated can eventually break open, causing them to bleed and raising the risk of infection. While this is a low risk, many patients choose to eliminate the danger entirely through safe, professional removal.

While skin tags themselves are not cancerous, they are sometimes hard to distinguish from other types of growths that can be. The only way to know for certain that they do not create a cancer risk is to examine some of them in a laboratory and make sure they are skin tags. In addition, tags can sometimes be the result acromegaly, polycystic ovary syndrome, and other hormonal issues that can themselves put your health at risk. Thus despite the generally benign nature of these growths, we recommend that you let us take a look at them if you develop them in large numbers.

When you have skin tags removed, it is crucial that you let qualified medical professionals do the job. If you attempt to remove them on your own, not only are you less likely to succeed, but you also raise the risk of an infection. Instead of taking this risk, let us provide quick, effective skin tag removal. We offer a variety of different options to get rid of these growths, including:

  • Surgical Removal– The simplest way to eliminate skin tags is to surgically cut them off. This has the benefit of getting rid of them immediately. It does, however, raise the risk of bleeding or local infection, though we can keep these risks under control by sterilizing the area during the procedure and giving you instructions to enhance healing after treatment.
  • Liquid Nitrogen– As an alternative to surgery, we can freeze your skin tags with liquid nitrogen. While this does not get rid of them immediately, they should fall off shortly after the procedure. This method does not carry a risk of bleeding or infection, though it can lead to temporary discoloration in the area that we treat. You may also need additional treatments if the tags do not all fall off after the first round.
  • Electric Cautery– Besides freezing, we can also get the tags to fall off by applying a mild electric current. This has many of the same advantages and disadvantages as freezing; it does not lead to infection, but may discolor your skin and doesn’t always work the first time.

Depending on the size of the tag and your preferences, we may apply a mild anesthetic prior to the treatment. Our goal is to keep you as comfortable as possible while getting rid of your tags for good.

Cyst Considerations

Also known as epidermoid cysts, skin cysts are sacs of keratin, a protein-based fluid, that form when an oil gland or hair follicle on your skin is obstructed. They can occur anywhere on your body, including your scalp, but are most likely to appear on your neck, trunk, or face. Skin cysts usually start out small and grow slowly, which is why many people who have them do not notice for long periods of time. They are typically painless, but can become painful if they are ruptured or infected.

As with skin tags, your risk of developing cysts is partially determined by genetics. In particular, some genetic diseases make cysts significantly more likely, those these disorders are relatively rare. In addition, cysts are more likely to develop in areas of your skin that you have injured. They become more likely after you go through puberty.

Whereas skin tags themselves are not cancerous, cysts can be, which is why we recommend letting us inspect any cysts that you develop. Besides skin cancer, cysts also increase your risk of:

  • Infection– Cysts that are ruptured can quickly become infected. When this happens, a boil will develop on your skin, which must be treated as quickly as possible.
  • Inflammation– Irritated or ruptured cysts are often subject to heavy inflammation even when they do not become infected. Inflamed cysts are usually tender and heavily swollen; it is often not possible to treat them until the swelling has subsided.
  • Chronic Pain– Though cysts are usually painless, if they become irritated or inflamed, they can cause you serious discomfort. For the sake of your quality of life, it makes sense to remove them.

No matter how large or painful your cyst is, you should resist the urge to pop or pick at it, as this can make the problem worse and lead to a higher risk of infection. Instead, schedule an appointment with us to have the cyst removed. You have a myriad of options to get rid of cysts safely and with minimal discomfort, including:

  • Medication– One way to reduce the size and swelling of cysts is to inject a medicine that lowers inflammation. This may not completely eliminate the cyst, but it should make it easier to live with and prevent some of the associated risks.
  • Drainage– The simplest way to scale back a cyst is to cut a minor incision with a sterilized scalpel. We will then gently remove the keratin inside. This method allows us to quickly reduce the size and impact of the cyst, but it does not get rid of it or prevent it from eventually returning to its full size. Since cysts do not disappear on their own, this means you will likely need repeated treatments over time.
  • Surgery– The most reliable way to get rid of cysts is to remove them surgically. After providing the necessary sterilization and anesthetic, we will cut the cyst away and stitch up the wound; you will then have to return to get the stitches removed. Surgery gets rid of the cyst for good, and it is perfectly safe. We cannot perform it, however, on cysts that are inflamed, so you may have to undergo one of the other treatments or wait for the swelling to go down before we can get started.

Whether you decide not to remove a cyst or are waiting for the swelling to go down, you can keep inflammation under control by applying a warm, wet cloth to the area. This helps the cyst to drain and makes you less likely to develop scars or infections. You should also avoid squeezing or picking at the cyst. We are happy to provide you with advice on proper cyst care before, after, or as an alternative to removal. By giving you the knowledge for effective cyst management as well as offering professional treatments at your disposal, we leave you prepared for every variety of skin growth.

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