Here is some first hand testimony I just received from a friend:
You will also be excited to know I recently had a cyst drained, after it got infected over the summer. It went from a little bump the circumference of a nickel, or less, to a giant ugly painful red-purple chicken-egg-sized horror in the course of two weeks. It coincided with July 4 weekend, and I had to see two doctors, the second one twice after he cancelled the first appointment, which is why it took so long and got so horrible. Having it drained SUCKED, stinky and painful. I didn't have it removed at the time because you have to drain first, then remove later (that's if it is infected like mine; if no infection, you can just remove); but now the doc says it's too small to
remove (good job draining it!) so we have to wait til it grows again. It has not noticeably grown in the past five months. It's right on my neck, which apparently is a very sensitive place for surgery. I've had that thing since high school, with no problems until YIKES. So yeah, I encourage you to have yours removed before they go haywire.
They just get infected after a while, could take months, could take decades, like mine took about 20 years. I don't know how much you know about cysts: they form when a hair follicle duct gets blocked, and a little hard wall forms under the skin, keeping things in that should normally be exuded through the duct. But it's okay until it gets infected, which causes a buildup of pus (that's the stinky part) and blood. At least, that's my understanding. So they drain it, and take out as much of the cyst wall as
they can. Sometimes if they get all of the wall, it never comes back. With mine, they got a lot of it but not all of it, so it's still there, but it is teeny tiny now. It was painful when it was infected, especially when trying to sleep, and having it drained hurts even though they numb the local area because they're taking a scalpel to you! Giant sharp rotating knives, man!!! But after enduring two weeks of increasing pain, it was a huge relief once the draining was done. The surgeon offered to preserve the pieces in a jar for me; I said no thank you.
In an effort to rid myself of bumps on my head, I am considering having two
removed in early January. They're sebaceous cysts, don't panic. In an attempt to research just what I'm in for in having them removed, I googled it and found some crazy stuff, yo! Check this out. This is a person who had cysts on their head, but let them go a bit longer than I intend to!
If you want to be really freaked out, go here and look at that (NotSafeForWork). Apparently to remove it, the doctor has to rub and massage and squeeze out the interior of the cyst!