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Infected cyst on back, next to cervical spine, fluid filled, induces neck pain. Connected?

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Practicing since : 1996
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Infected cyst/abscess

I have had a smallish (maybe 2 cm in diameter) skin abscess or infected cyst on my back next to my cervical spine for the last 2 weeks which doesn't seem to be getting bigger or coming to a head (I tried squeezing it thinking it was a pimple at first.) When I touch it, it feels soft/puffy as though there's some fluid under it (same as a gum boil) and it's no longer hot/painful, just itchy sometimes. I'm also getting shooting pain up my neck and XXXXXXX my back in the same area, which feels like it could be muscular, but could a small abscess cause this kind of pain without being very large (possibly spreading?) and should I be concerned since I can't see my doctor for another 2 weeks. I have no experience with skin infections like this.
Posted Sat, 28 Apr 2012 in Sun Burn
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 4 hours later

Thank you for posting the query,

You have provided with good information regarding your skin problem and it is a very good description. I appreciate it.

This description seems to be a sebaceous cyst .Upper back is a very common area to have it and the feel is also like a soft ball.It can hurt only when it is infected ,and not otherwise.

Usually it doesn't lead to any pain on back ,but one may experience pain if touches any superficial nerve endings.

In such a case I would advise you to get it removed surgically.

For the time being you can take a pain killer with a muscle relaxant , which would give you good relief.I don't see any emergency at the moment ,and I feel you can wait till 2 weeks before you can show to any competent dermatologist for removal.

Hope I've answered your query.
Should you have additional concern regarding the same ,I would be happy to address it.

Dr.Bharat chawda
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Infected cyst on back, next to cervical spine, fluid filled, induces neck pain. Connected? 3 days later
Thank you very much for your reply. I would like to add that my main concern is that my lesion might be from some kind of staph infection (which I've read online causes boils and abscesses) and that it could possibly spread and affect my spine, because of it's location. Would this only happen with a much larger skin infection? Can a sebaceous cyst also be infected this way?
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 5 hours later

Thank you for the reply.

Yes, a infected Sebaceous Cyst can get Staph infection, but it is always localized and does not involve the spine. If the cyst is very big in size, then it can have pressure symptoms.

A staph infection of a boil can get deeper also and cause Cellulitis, but may not affect your spine.

You need a good antibiotic coverage especially the one which acts on gram positive bacteria after consulting your Dermatologist.

Hope, this answers your query.

Wish you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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