Author: Dr Delwyn Dyall-Smith FACD, Dermatologist, 2010.
A fistula is an abnormal channel leading between two cavities or surfaces which may drain a fluid material such as saliva or pus. An example would be from the mouth (oral cavity) to the skin surface, usually of the face or neck, and this specific type is called an orocutaneous fistula.
The words however are often used interchangeably.
Fistulas and sinuses of the neck and face may be classified by cause.
Fistulas and sinuses due to developmental causes are usually present at birth.
Cysts are lumps in the skin containing fluctuant contents. They may have an opening to the skin surface.
In addition to careful history and examination, one or more of the following tests will usually be required to confirm the diagnosis and determine the cause:
This will be determined by the specific cause.
See the DermNet NZ bookstore
© 2018 DermNet New Zealand Trust.
DermNet NZ does not provide an online consultation service. If you have any concerns with your skin or its treatment, see a dermatologist for advice.