Cysts on the skin are common – most of them will settle eventually without antibiotics, although recovery is usually quicker if you take antibiotics. Many of them are caused by a bacterium called Staph Aureus, which responds very well to flucloxacillin. However, very few other bacteria are sensitive to flucloxacillin.
Flucloxacillin is often given for this sort of cyst because it’s the antibiotic most likely to give a good result. If the doctor sent a swab to know for certain what the bacterium was and what it would respond to, this would take about 3 days, and the infection might get worse in the meantime.
There are several possible reasons why you are still having problems. The infection may be caused by a bacterium which is resistant to the antibiotic; you may need a longer course; or the infection may be too severe to respond, in which case you might need surgery (although this isn’t common with infected cysts on the neck). I would suggest you see your GP again.
Answered by Dr Sarah Jarvis.
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