Should one take antibiotics in case of an atheroma?
A bacterially infected atheroma may not be operated on in the inflamed state. In this case it may be necessary for the doctor to first prescribe a suitable antibiotic. Once the inflammation has healed, the atheroma can then be surgically removed. It is important to note that antibiotics are only effective if the inflammation is due to a bacterial infection. Therefore, antibiotics are not indicated for every inflamed atheroma.
Is it possible to remove atheromas yourself?
Under no circumstances should atheromas be removed by the patient himself. On the one hand, the undirected pressure on the atheroma can cause the accumulated mass of horny cells and sebum to be emptied into the lower layers of the skin. This promotes inflammation and ultimately worsens the course of the disease.
The inflammation makes it more difficult for the dermatologist to remove the atheroma and antibiotics may have to be used. On the other hand, emptying the atheroma by lancing does not bring long-term success. Even if the atheroma appears smaller after emptying the contents, in most cases it will come back after a short time.
This is because the excretory duct and the capsule of the atheroma remain in the skin. Therefore skin scales can easily accumulate again and the atheroma is back. The conclusion is that an atheroma should always be removed by a physician, for example a dermatologist, as he or she can remove the atheroma completely with the capsule and excretory duct without inflammation, making long-term success more likely.
How is an atheroma removed (surgery)?
Small atheromas, which do not cause any complaints, do not necessarily have to be removed surgically. However, the larger the atheroma becomes, the more advisable surgery is, as this prevents the risk of infection. While the irritation-free atheroma is easy to remove surgically, an inflamed atheroma is somewhat more difficult to operate on.
The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia of the corresponding skin area and can be performed on an outpatient basis. If the atheroma is already inflamed, a general anaesthetic may be necessary. In principle, a layperson should be strongly advised not to remove the atheroma on his own, as the risk of infection spreading is too high and it cannot be guaranteed that the entire atheroma has been removed.
The excretory duct of the hair, which in some atheromas (epidermal cysts) appears as a black spot in the centre, should also be completely removed so that it cannot become blocked again in the course of the procedure. An inflamed atheroma cannot easily be completely removed without damaging the capsule. Therefore, in this case, the procedure is similar to the surgical removal of a pustule.
First of all, the site of pus is opened and all pus and sebum are thoroughly removed. The wound is treated hygienically and rinsed. In addition, the patient receives antibiotic therapy to prevent bacterial infection by carrying the germs out of the inflamed atheroma.
Afterwards, when the wound is no longer inflamed, it may be necessary to remove the remaining parts of the atheroma to prevent the atheroma from returning. If the inflammation can still be controlled well, antibiotic therapy can be administered first and then surgery can be performed in a second session after the inflammation has subsided. The removal of the atheroma is a short, simple operation lasting about 15 to a maximum of 30 minutes. It is not associated with a hospital stay and can also be performed on an outpatient basis in a dermatological practice. As the operation in most cases only requires local anaesthesia of the skin, the patient is quickly able to resume normal activities after the operation.