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Lumps on posterior cheek, painful, swollen. Some have recessed. There is no breakage. What is it?

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Practicing since : 2002
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On one posterior cheek only, I have had 3 lumps so far; they start out about the size of a pea and inflate to the size of a quarter after about 3 hours. The first two have recessed about 20% and are no longer painful (but are still lumps), but the newest one is causing swelling pain. I was a marathoner for 20+ years and have rather firm buttocks, so these don't feel fleshy - they feel layered. I've ruled out infection & bites. There really isn't much of a surface breakage for either, although I did drain the 2nd one with a pinching technique. I am a 50-year-old caucasian male who has never smoked or done drugs. Thank you in advance. ~S.
Posted Thu, 26 Apr 2012 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 4 hours later
Hello and thank you for submitting your question.

Your question is a very good one and I will work on providing you with some good information and recommendations regarding what is going on.

First of all I would like to tell you that I do not think you're dealing with any type of malignancy or life threatening illness. in fact what you are describing sounds very much like sebaceous cyst. These can sometimes become infected. I'm not sure how you ruled out infection without actually culturing the material which you drained from the cyst.

I would suggest you start taking a warm bath twice daily to help open any clogged pores in the area in question. The fact that these area change in size so rapidly makes me suspect infection or inflammation even more.

Try this for a couple of weeks and see if the areas of swelling improve.

I thank you again for submitting your question. Again I do not think this is any type of worrisome problem and I think it will be temporary. If you have any additional concerns I would be happy to address them here.


Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Lumps on posterior cheek, painful, swollen. Some have recessed. There is no breakage. What is it? 1 hour later
I thank you for your answer.

I realize you need to protect yourself for any mis-diagnoses. I am rather certain this is pilondial cysts and have treated it already. EmuAid would have been the choice, but I'm going with a BoilRemove product. As said before, I'm a seasoned marathoner, am used to pain, and will allow it to recover it time with creams. If it does get worse, to the point that I will feel it can no longer be healed by my own capabilities, I'll deal with it.

Again, I appreciate it. I'm not the type to cancel the financial investment.

Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 25 hours later

Thank you for your follow up.

Perhaps sending a photo would help if you are interested in confirming your suspicion that this is a pilonidal cyst. In any case if you have achieved resolution of your symptoms or partial resolution and have additional concerns I would be happy to address them.

Pilonidal cysts can develop secondary infections so I encourage you to monitor for symptomatic improvement and resolution of your symptoms.

If you would like to utilize the photo option you can securely email that to my attention at YYYY@YYYY . Thank you once again for your query. I wish you all the best and continued good health.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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