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Memphis Dermatologist on Cysts and Keloids

George Woodbury Jr. M.D. (12/14/2022)

If you or a family member has a new nodule in your skin, now’s a great time to get the lesion diagnosed by a Dermatologist. This nodule could be a Cyst, the result of a skin infection, or a type of scar tissue called a Keloid. Let’s take a look at why it’s important to get cysts managed, from my perspective as a Dermatologic Surgeon, in Memphis, Tennessee.

First of all, it's generally not a good idea to try to bust or rupture a cyst, since that act can introduce infection into the skin.

So what is a cyst?

A cyst, or sebaceous cyst, happens because the body either expels an infected gland to the skin surface, causing an abscess or boil, or the body contains that infection, by building a type of cyst sack around it. The result is a skin nodule.

The problem is that a cyst sack is at risk of leakage or rupture if it gets traumatized, leading to an active skin infection, a type of skin emergency. If a cyst is actively infected, we do an incision and drainage, putting a shot into the cyst, then making a cut into it, allowing the pus to drain.

It’s ideal later to get the cyst sack removed, with a cyst excision: the cyst is numbed up or anesthetized, with a local shot, then cut out, the site frequently being closed with stiches.

This excision procedure leaves a scar, and sometimes even a raised scar called a Keloid, so we Dermatologists advise the patient whether it’s best to completely remove the cyst with stitches. The advantage is that the lesion can be sent off to the Dermatopathology Laboratory to be checked for cancer: the lesion might actually be a cystic Basal Cell Skin Cancer or even a Melanoma. If a scar or Keloid results from the excision, we can treat the site later with steroid injections to reduce the scar.

More information?

A best first move is a consultation with a Board-certified Dermatologist for a skin check-up, an especially high priority for people with skin lesions that could be cancerous. Check out “Understanding the Melanoma Crisis: Scarlet’s Story,’ a 2018 movie sponsored by my Dermatology practice on Youtube.

My own Dermatology practice is with Rheumatology and Dermatology (, in Memphis, TN, near Germantown, Bartlett, and Arlington (8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018 1-901-753-0168). Or you could find a Board-certified Dermatologist close to you with the American Academy of Dermatology’s “Find a Dermatologist” site ( Plug in your zip code, and you’ll get a list. For helpful photos of skin growths, go the Skin Cancer Foundation web site,

And if you have oily or combination skin and complexion issues, a company of which I am President – Big River Silk Skincare – manufactures and distributes a helpful cleanser – AmberSoy™ Soap Gel – which can be used as a type of skin mask, for 3-5 minutes prior to washing off (

George Woodbury Jr. M.D. (12/14/2022)

Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates

President of Big River Silk Skincare

8143 Walnut Grove Road

Cordova TN 38018

1-901-753-0168 (12/14/2022)


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