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Cysts & Lipomas

What are skin cysts and lipomas?

Cysts and lipomas are both types of benign (non-cancerous) skin growths that can occur in the skin.

What are cysts on the skin?

Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can appear anywhere on the skin, although they are most commonly found on the face, scalp, and trunk. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including blocked oil or sweat glands, and can range in size from very small to several inches in diameter.

How are cysts treated?

Treatment options for cysts include:

  • Drainage: Sometimes when a cyst is small and not causing any pain or discomfort, it can be drained by a healthcare professional without recurrence. This involves making a small incision in the cyst and removing the fluid or pus inside. Sometimes drainage is also necessary as a temporary procedure for larger cysts that become painful, red and inflamed
  • Surgical removal: Most cysts, especially larger cysts or those that are causing pain or discomfort may need to be surgically removed to be removed permanently. This usually involves making a small incision in the cyst and removing the entire sac, including the walls and contents.
  • Medications: In some cases, Dr. Shagalov may recommend the use of medications, such as antibiotics, to help reduce the size of the cyst and prevent infection.

What are Lipomas?

Lipomas are benign tumors made up of fat cells. They typically appear on the trunk, shoulders, neck, and upper arms, and can range in size from pea-sized to several inches in diameter. Lipomas are usually soft and moveable, and they can also be removed through surgery.

What causes lipomas?

The exact cause of lipomas is not fully understood, but they are thought to be related to genetic and hormonal factors. Lipomas tend to run in families, and a genetic predisposition to developing them may be inherited. Hormonal imbalances, such as those that occur during menopause, may also play a role in the development of lipomas.

Obesity has also been linked to an increased risk of developing lipomas, as well as certain medical conditions such as Gardner’s syndrome and Madelung’s disease.

In some cases, lipomas may also develop as a result of injury or trauma to the affected area. This is known as a traumatic lipoma.

How are lipomas treated?

No treatment is necessary. However, if it is painful or enlarging Dr. Shagalov may recommend removal. Surgical excision: Lipomas can be surgically removed by making a small incision in the skin and removing the entire tumor. This is the most effective and permanent way to remove a lipoma.

When you notice a lump on your skin, it is important to have it evaluated by Dr. Shagalov to ensure it is a harmless cyst or lipoma. Neither is associated with any serious health risks. However, if it causes you pain or discomfort, or is cosmetically displeasing Dr. Shagalov may recommend removal.

Schedule a dermatology appointment

If you are concerned about cysts or lipomas, schedule an appointment with Miami’s leading dermatologist Dr. Devorah Shagalov. Dr. Shagalov is a board-certified dermatologist and a dual fellowship trained Mohs Surgeon and cosmetic dermatologist. Biscayne Dermatology is located in Midtown Miami on the border of Edgewater and Wynwood a few blocks from the Design District, Miami Beach, and Downtown Miami.

At a Glance

Dr. Devorah Shagalov

  • Double Board-Certified Dermatologist
  • Fellowship-Trained Mohs Micrographic Surgeon
  • Recipient of numerous dermatology awards
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