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What Is the Treatment for a Neck Cyst?

Treating a neck cyst typically involves a tailored approach, ranging from watchful waiting to surgical removal, depending on its size, type, and symptoms. Antibiotics or aspiration may be options for infection or discomfort. Each method carries its own risks and benefits, which a healthcare professional can explain. Wondering how these treatments might affect you? Let's explore your options further.
Meshell Powell
Meshell Powell

Treatment for a neck cyst depends on a number of factors, including the type of cyst, the location, and whether any bothersome symptoms are present. Many of these cysts are not considered medically significant and no treatment is necessary. If an infection is present, the cyst may be treated with antibiotics. A cyst that develops as a result of thyroid dysfunction may be treated with prescription medications designed to treat the underlying condition. Occasionally, surgical removal of the cyst, chemotherapy, or radiation treatments may become necessary.

It is important to consult a doctor if a neck cyst develops in order to ensure an accurate diagnosis. Most cysts that develop in this region of the body are relatively harmless and may disappear on their own without any medical intervention. If other symptoms are present, such as pain or fever, further evaluation and a series of diagnostic tests may be required to find the direct cause of the cyst formation.

Prescription medications may be necessary to treat an infection that is present with a neck cyst.
Prescription medications may be necessary to treat an infection that is present with a neck cyst.

In cases where the cyst is associated with the presence of an infection, antibiotics are usually prescribed, and the patient may be asked to return to the doctor following the course of antibiotic therapy. If the cyst remains, further tests may be ordered to rule out any serious complications. As long as there is no major underlying cause for the cyst and no bothersome symptoms are present, the doctor may choose a wait-and-see approach, periodically examining the cyst for any changes.

A neck cyst may be associated with thyroid dysfunction.
A neck cyst may be associated with thyroid dysfunction.

Blood tests can often determine whether the cyst is associated with thyroid dysfunction. If this condition is present, medications may be given to treat the specific form of thyroid disease present. If the cyst remains following treatment or if it begins to grow larger, more invasive treatment options may need to be explored.

Surgical removal of a neck cyst is relatively uncommon and is typically used as a last resort when other forms of treatment have not rendered adequate results. In most cases, this type of operation is performed on an outpatient basis, and the patient can return to normal activities soon thereafter. Rarely, a neck cyst may be caused by a tumor or other form of cancer. If surgical removal of the cyst does not get rid of all of the cancer cells, chemotherapy or radiation treatments may become necessary. The supervising physician can work with the patient to create an individualized treatment plan based on specific medical needs.

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Discussion Comments


Even though they say that most neck cysts are benign, you want to make sure and get it checked out so you know for sure.

I developed two cysts on my neck after I was diagnosed with cancer. Because of the cancer, I had these cysts surgically removed. By this time, I had already been through so much, that this seemed like a minor thing.

At one point in my life, I would have been concerned with scars on my neck from any kind of cyst removal. Now I am just thankful to be alive, and am thankful for all the ways they have of treating cancerous cysts and tumors.


Any time I have some kind of strange bump or lump on my body, I freak out and want to get it checked out right away.

When I noticed a cyst on my neck, I didn't waste any time in making an appointment with my doctor. I found out I had a thyroid problem, and the cyst on my neck was caused from this.

Once I started on medication, it took care of this cyst on my neck. The best thing is, I feel so much better.

By getting proper treatment for my thyroid, not only did the cyst on my neck go away, but I have much more energy than I did before.


I had a lump show up on my neck out of the blue, and I had no idea where it came from. Over time it kept getting a little bigger. When both my son and husband noticed it, I decided I better get it checked out.

I went to my dermatologist and she said it was a sebaceous cyst and was harmless. They drained this cyst and checked to make sure there was no cancer.

She told me there was a good chance this cyst would grow back. The only way to completely get rid of it was to have it surgically removed, and she didn't recommend that.

After a couple of years, the cyst did come back, and I had it drained again. I still don't want to go through surgery, so will just wait and see if it returns a third time.

It is not painful to the touch, but is kind of annoying when you know it is there and it continues to grow.


Every time I see my doctor, he always checks my eyes, ears, throat and neck. He says he is looking for any changes in my neck or anything that feels abnormal.

Once he felt a small cyst that I wasn't even aware of. He wasn't too concerned and took the wait-and-see approach. Since I now was aware the neck lump was there, I could watch it and see if it grew or not.

A few days after that, I did come down with a sinus infection and was also running a fever. After this was totally cleared up, the small cyst on my neck just went away.

I don't know if it was a result of the infection or if it was totally unrelated to that. I am just glad I didn't have to have any further treatment.


I had a really big sebaceous cyst under my skin on my neck. It became very inflamed, and if anything touched it, I winced in pain.

This cyst wasn't like regular acne, because it didn't have a white center that could be pricked with a needle. This was a cyst that I could actually roll around with my fingers.

It looked really weird whenever I wore my hair up, so I went to my dermatologist to see about having it removed. Instead of cutting it out, he recommended steroids.

He injected the cyst with steroids. This brought down the swelling, but he told me that it might reappear someday, and if it did, I should probably have it cut out.


@Oceana – If I had been through all that you had that season, I probably would have waited it out, too. As long as there is no fever present, sometimes a neck cyst can simply vanish.

I did have one that came with a 100 degree fever, though, and that worried me. I got some antibiotics for that one, because fever that high can rise rapidly and get you in a sticky situation.

Sometimes, when I get an upper respiratory infection, I can feel what seems like cysts along my jawline. Really, these are just swollen lymph nodes. If I don't have fever, I wait about a week to see if my symptoms start to subside on their own.


Last summer, I had a myriad of illnesses. I suffered from strep throat that didn't respond to antibiotics the first time and a couple of stubborn sinus infections.

After all my illnesses finally seemed to succumb to the antibiotics, I developed a cyst in the side of my neck. It felt solid rather than filled with fluid, and I was so tired of going back to the doctor that I decided to just wait and see if it would go away on its own.

I had a sore throat on the same side of my neck as the cyst, and I felt flushed. I waited about a week, and it went away, though. I was almost certain I would need more antibiotics, but I gave my body a chance to fight the infection on its own, and this time, it succeeded.


My sister had a cyst in her neck area when she was in high school. It seemed to be pressing on her throat, and it made her uncomfortable. Also, it looked lumpy from the outside.

Her doctor decided that since she was feeling pressure from it, she should have it surgically removed. The surgery did leave a scar, but she was very relieved to feel normal again.

Prom was coming up, and since she had already bought a low-cut dress, she decided to get a matching scarf to hide the scar. She was a bit self-conscious about the gash in her throat, but she thought it looked better than the lump, and she knew it would fade over time.

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    • Prescription medications may be necessary to treat an infection that is present with a neck cyst.
      By: igor
      Prescription medications may be necessary to treat an infection that is present with a neck cyst.
    • A neck cyst may be associated with thyroid dysfunction.
      By: Max Tactic
      A neck cyst may be associated with thyroid dysfunction.
    • Surgery is not a common treatment option for neck cysts.
      By: Radu Razvan
      Surgery is not a common treatment option for neck cysts.
    • People should never self diagnose their neck cyst, but should always get checked out by a physician.
      People should never self diagnose their neck cyst, but should always get checked out by a physician.
    • Pain may accompany a neck cyst.
      By: triocean
      Pain may accompany a neck cyst.