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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19453
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I have a cyst on my shoulder that has been there for several

Customer Question

I have a cyst on my shoulder that has been there for several years. I have had no problems with it until recently. I saw a doctor a few days ago because the cyst had became red, swollen, and very touchy. She examined it and said it was infected. She didn't want to do anything to it because I am diabetic, so she put me on Clindamycin HCL 300 mg. 2x daily. She also told me to put antibotic cream on it and cover it with bandages. Here it is 3 days later and still no results, but now where I have had bandages on as well as my cyst has small blisters all over. What do I need to do? Stop covering it and see what happens, stop the medicine, or try to see someone about it.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 5 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some further information:
Is there any drainage from the cyst?
If so, is the drainage purulent?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 5 years ago.
I had asked for some additional information, but have not heard back.

Whether there is drainage would affect the level of concern that you should be seen by someone else.

If there is an infected cyst that is not draining and is not improving on antibiotics, then it would typically need drainage, which can be done by a simple incision. If your doctor is hesitant to perform the procedure, then it would be appropriate to be seen by a specialist that would be able to do so.

If the cyst is spontaneously draining, then there are other factors to consider. The development of blisters on the skin could be due to a worsening infection, but it also could be due to a reaction to the local medicine that is being applied. Therefore, it would be reasonable to stop the topical medicine (while continuing the oral antibiotic) and covering with a sterile dressing and see if the appearance of the skin improves. If the skin improves, then it would be OK to see if the oral antibiotic can lead to improvement in the infection.

It is also true that for any infection, there is no antibiotic that will work 100% of the time, so if the infection is not improving on any antibiotic, it would be appropriate to consider a different antibiotic. It will take several days to adequately assess whether the antibiotic is improving, but there should be some level of improvement within those several days. If not, then it would be appropriate to consider a different antibiotic, and this assessment can be done by your current physician.