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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Cysts
Accutane and Cysts [posted
Answer: Accutane is the best for acne vulgaris, the risk is fairly low as long as one watches liver function and cycles the drug. Risk for women who get pregnant is extreme, but I suspect you have no intention at this phase of your life. Have you tried birth control pills? Very effective in most women.
Baker's Cysts [posted 10/16/98]
Answer: Surgical removal and occasional steroid injections are about the only way to treat it.
Adenomyosis Cystic Hyperplasia
Answer: Adenomas are benign growths-- usually in "glands". Cysts are fluid filled structures. Often the adenomas will enlarge and fill with fluid leading to this condition. It usually is benign, but it can cause pain from local distention and bleeding into the cysts.
Answer: Most likely the cysts represent accessory nipples or extra breast tissue. Many women will have breast tissue into their axillae(underarms). Occasionally, there will be extra nipples as well in a line running from your arm pit to your nipple and towards your umbilicus(belly button). There may be extra breast tissue or extra nipples anywhere along this line. With the swelling at the time of your period this is most likely.
Answer: It depends on where the cyst is and the cause of the cyst. New cysts on the penis or vagina will tend to be sexually transmitted. However, an examination will be necessary to determine the cause of the cyst.
Answer: Cysts form each month in the ovary as a result of an egg coming to "ripeness" prior to a women's cycle. This is usually in one ovary, but can be in both ovaries. Occasionally, there are multiple cysts in one ovary. The cyst which is formed on a monthly basis will rupture, expelling the follicle towards the fallopian tubes and consequently to the uterus. If the cyst does not rupture these cysts may persist. There may be pain around the middle of a woman's cycle over the ovary which represents the rupture of these cysts, which is a normal and necessary part of a normal cycle. Occasionally, these will bleed and become quite painful, with lower pelvic pain and pain on intercourse. Usually once a cyst is identified it is merely followed to ensure that it does not continue to enlarge.
Answer: Cysts form in the ovary every month after puberty. These rupture and expel an "egg" into the fallopian tube in post puberty females. In pre-puberty females cysts can also form. They are rarely studied since young girls rarely need ultra-sounds. Benign cysts have a different appearance on ultra-sound than cancerous growths. However, the only absolute way is to insert a needle into the cyst. If the cyst appears benign I wouldn't he too concerned. A follow up ultra-sound will demonstrate either no change or regression of the cysts. Ovarian cancer is almost unheard of before 18.
Answer: It is hard to tell without seeing it. However, if it is changing or feels tender, it probably needs to be excised.
Answer: This is either a sebaceous cyst or recurrent skin boils. A sebaceous cyst is common where ever you have hair, especially in the groin, back, or head. They exude a cheesy material and will occur at the same spot until surgically removed. Sebaceous boils tend to occur in individuals and can be minimized by use of a "deodorant" soap. Prompt use of antibiotics is important for these. To tell the difference, you'll need to see a physician with the next one.
Answer: In general, I refer patients to plastic or facial surgeons for any surgical procedure. There are some dermatologists who are as skilled-so knowing the physician is critical. However, these surgeons usually perform slightly better cosmetically-at a higher price.
Answer: The sebaceous cyst will not turn into cancer. It will also not go away without some type of surgery. This may be a local incision and not require a circumcision. I would also get a second opinion about the cyst since Ive never seen a sebaceous cyst on the penis itself.
Sebaceous Cysts [posted 8/7/98]
Answer: The first question is whether these are sebaceous cysts or from the Bartholin Glands. If from the Bartholin Glands, surgical drainage may be necessary. However, since you are having these in your axillae as well as in the peri-vaginal area, I suspect they are sebaceous glands whose output is increased by estrogen in some women. These may become tender and drain, but are not cancerous or any permanent risk.
Stopping the Spread
Answer: In order to eliminate sebaceous cysts, they must be surgically removed. They do not spread ;but, may become infected.
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