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Skin Pseudocyst

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 31, 2022.

What is a skin pseudocyst?

A skin pseudocyst is a pocket of fluid that forms under the skin. The most common areas for a skin pseudocyst to form are a finger or toe. The ear is possible but less common. A skin pseudocyst may develop after long-term irritation or repeated injury to the area.

How is a skin pseudocyst diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask if you have symptoms, such as pain or stiffness. Tell him or her if you have ever had a skin pseudocyst in the same location. He or she may use an ultrasound to look at the pocket of fluid.

How is a skin pseudocyst treated?

  • Pressure may be recommended if the skin pseudocyst is on your finger or toe and you do not have symptoms. Apply firm pressure on the skin pseudocyst every day for several weeks as directed.
  • Procedures to drain the fluid will be done if the skin pseudocyst is on your ear. Drainage may be done if the skin pseudocyst is on your finger or toe and causes pain or stiffness. Your healthcare provider may use a needle, or he or she may make a small incision to drain the fluid. A sample of the fluid may be sent to a lab for testing.
  • Medicine may be injected into the pocket of fluid to reduce swelling and help the skin pseudocyst heal.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • You have red streaks or extreme pain near your wound.
  • Blood soaks through your bandage.

When should I call my doctor or dermatologist?

  • Fluid builds up again in the same area.
  • Your incision becomes red, swollen, or painful.
  • You cannot bend your finger or toe.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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