(sist)-a sac not normally present that contains gas, fluid or semisolid material. Superficial skin cysts are either
1)superficial skin cells (epidermoid cysts) that have been driven down to a deeper level where they are considered foreign & your body confines or walls off (the cyst walls)
2)plugged glands (sebaceous cysts) that normally produce lubricants etc. for the skin surface once plugged the gland expands & its walls become the cyst walls
The only way to definitively treat a persistent cyst of this sort is complete removal of the cyst contents & its entire wall. If you leave any portion of the cyst behind it will recurr. If you leave multiple fragments you will have more than one cyst when it recurrs. Drainage is only used if the cyst/overlying skin are actively infected. In these cases the infected skin will not hold a suture. The treatment then is to drain some of the cyst contents (bacteria & infectious material) & take oral antiobiotics to allow the infection to clear. Once the infection is resolved the cyst is definitively treated by surgical excision. In some cases the cyst becomes infected & drains on its own. The treatment is then to keep the area clean & maintain an opening for continued drainage. The cyst walls will eventually collapse & the skin opening then close or heal over. The resulting smaller cyst should then be removed because of the high likelihood it will again become infected.