A cyst is a sac-like pocket of membranous tissue that contains fluid, air, or other substances. A small cyst may appear to look like a blister. Cysts commonly appear as a small bump under your skin, but they can grow almost anywhere in your body or under your skin. They can range in size from microscopic to extremely large. Some cysts even grow deep under the skin where they go undetected.
A cyst can be caused by a variety of things including genetic conditions, a defect in cells, chronic inflammatory conditions, parasites, an injury that breaks a vessel or blockages of ducts in the body causing a fluid build up. Most cysts are benign, or noncancerous, but if you have concerns about a cyst the best thing to do is visit your doctor for an examination.
A Sebaceous Cyst is a common, typically noncancerous cysts of the skin. These form out of the sebaceous gland that produces the oil that coats your hair and skin. To treat a sebaceous cyst if it is large or uncomfortable, we can drain or remove it.
Occasionally a sebaceous cyst can be cancerous. You should make an appointment with your doctor if your sebaceous cyst has the following characteristics:
- diameter that’s larger than five centimeters
- fast rate of reoccurrence after being removed
- signs of infection, such as redness, pain, or pus drainage
Melanoma is a type of cancer that begins in the melanocytes. These are the skin cells that produce melanin, how our skin gets its color. Melanoma isn’t as common as some other types of skin cancer, but it is more likely to spread throughout the body.
Although skin melanomas can occur anywhere on the body, men are most likely to develop melanomas on their back, while women are most likely to develop it on their legs.
There are many risk factors for melanoma, including:
- UV light exposure
- Fair skin, freckling and light hair
- Family history of melanoma
Though there is no sure way you can prevent melanoma, limiting your exposure to ultraviolet rays is the most important way to lower your risk. It is also important to check your skin regularly for any abnormal moles or growths. Moles unusual in color, size, shape, or ones that have changed significantly over time should be checked by a doctor.
A lipoma is a slow-growing, fatty lump that typically is located between your skin and the underlying muscle layer. A lipoma feels soft and doughy to the touch, and moves easily with slight pressure. Lipomas are usually small, less than 2 inches in diameter when first detected. Some people may develop multiple lipomas at once. Genetics may play a role in the development of lipomas, though their cause isn’t fully understood.
A lipoma isn’t cancer and usually is harmless. Treatment generally isn’t necessary, but if the lipoma bothers you, is painful or is growing, you may want to have it removed. If you have questions or concerns about a lipoma, make an appointment to have it looked it.
The lymph nodes are part of the immune system and are located all throughout the body. These small organs are located throughout the body and connected to each other by lymph vessels. Your lymph nodes can s well when your body is fighting off an infection, but swollen lymph nodes can also be caused by cancer. An excisional biopsy is the best way to determine why your lymph nodes are enlarged. During an biopsy we will remove a piece of the enlarged lymph node and send the tissue to a lab for testing.