If You Have a Sebaceous Cyst, Have it Removed NOW
I am going through an unbelievable experience with a sebaceous cyst. I had no idea such a harmless-looking thing could blow up into a major medical problem.
I’ve had the darn thing, on the inside of my left knee, for probably 15 years. It very slowly grew from the size of a lentil to the size of a marble but it otherwise didn’t bother me and it wasn’t in a very visible area so I just blew it off.
I had skin cancer about ten years ago so I go to the dermatologist once a year and though my doctor would always note the cyst, she didn’t push me to have it removed.
Then, on May 24, the Thursday before the Memorial Day weekend, I noticed some redness around the base of the cyst. Friday it was worse so I called my dermatologist for an appointment which I made for the following Tuesday at 8:00 a.m.
On Sunday the redness extended out several inches and down my leg about six inches in a wide oval. I called my doctor’s office because as that point, I was scared and didn’t think I could make it to Tuesday morning.
The doctor who was on call told me to go to the office and she would meet me there (so sweet), which I did. Despite dropping everything while working in her garden, and reeking of manure, she took one look at the site and said oh, yeah. Good thing you came in. You wouldn’t have made it to Tuesday. Then she shot me up with some steroids, gave me a prescription for antibiotics and told me to come back for that already-scheduled Tuesday morning appointment.
So I went back and my regular doctor lanced the cyst, told me to push on it several times a day to drain it, and said I could come back in a week.
When I asked what made the thing suddenly erupt, she said the cyst probably burst internally and then my body attacked the contents thinking it was foreign matter.
So to make a long story short, ever since the end of May I have been seeing the doctor roughly every ten days and nursing the thing while waiting for the infection to go away completely and for the whole area to calm down.
Fast forward to August 30. I went in for minor surgery to have the cyst removed. All seemed to go well though my doctor was concerned about getting it all because it seemed to have multiple “sacks” instead of a nice neat one. But, she sewed me up and I made an appointment for last Tuesday, September 11, to have the stitches removed.
Everything looked good to my (untrained) eye but after the stitches were out, a little hole, about the diameter of a medium-sized nail (the size you’d use to hang picture on the wall) remained. My doctor said it looked like the thing still wanted to be a cyst. She said might not have gotten all of it out. She said even if one cyst cell remains, it’ll turn into a cyst again.
So she put this fake skin-like bandage over it and a pressure bandage on top of that and told me to come back in seven days.
I was supposed to change the fake skin in the middle of those seven days so on Friday morning I unpacked the area and just about fell out of my chair. The hole was the size of a pencil eraser and it was bleeding a watery blood.
I didn’t want to go into the weekend with it like that so I made an emergency appointment and went in that afternoon. My regular doc wasn’t there so I saw someone else who recommended we leave the hole alone and essentially let it close from the bottom of the hole up.
Fine. She covered it with more of that fake-skin bandage and told me to come back in five days, i.e. today, to see my regular doc.
At today’s appointment my doc noticed that the rim of the hole was turning inside, meaning it was healing around the edges instead of reaching across the hole, so to speak, and closing up. She looked around, pulling the hole every which way (it’s getting pretty gross by now as you can imagine) and said she saw the edge of some sack material (it has the texture of skin but it is pure white) so she numbed the area and slid a scalpel under the skin around the edges of the hole and pulled more sack tissue out. She also cut around the rim of the hole to create a raw edge hoping, again, that the hole would close up instead of turning under. Then she filled the hole with some antibiotic cream, covered it over and told me to come back on Monday.
(They gave me six days worth of antibiotic tablets somewhere along the line in case it gets infected.)
Today my doctor said I might have to GO TO THE HOSPITAL and have an operation where they open the whole area — approximately two inches in diameter around the site — to get every last bit of cyst tissue.
This is crazy! I had no idea a little ol’ cyst could cause this much trouble!
Bottom line: If you have a cyst, have it removed immediately. You don’t want this to happen to you. It isn’t worth it.
Geez. If I’d only known.
Entry filed under: Health - Physical and Psychological.