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Abcess or Cyst? Whats the Difference

Recently a patient walked into the clinic in Downers Grove and asked us about the difference between an abscess and a cyst.



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An abscess is a pocket of pus that can form in the body as a result of an infection. It is usually painful and can cause swelling, redness, and warmth in the affected area. Abscesses can occur anywhere in the body, but they are most common in the skin, in the mouth, or in the lungs.


A cyst is a sac that contains fluid or other substances. Cysts can occur anywhere in the body and can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Cysts can vary in size and may not cause any symptoms, but they can also cause swelling, pain, or other symptoms depending on their location and size.


Both abscesses and cysts can be treated with medications or procedures to drain the pus or fluid and remove the growth. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove an abscess or cyst. It is important to see a doctor if you suspect that you have an abscess or cyst so that the appropriate treatment can be provided.


If you have an abscess or a cyst, its important to get it checked out by a medical provider and the friendly staff at Downers Grove Immediate Care has been serving patients in the western suburbs of Chicago (Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Westmont, Downers Grove, Lombard) for several years. Its a great alternative to going to the ER for non-emergent conditions. Save yourself a trip from going to Hinsdale Hospital or Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital (not to mention the crazy high deductible/copay charges).

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