Throat Infection Presenting With Pus Pockets- Possibly a Tonsillar Cyst

Q: Hi, 10 days ago, I noticed a white spot in my throat while I was brushing. I immediately went to a doctor. Behind the white spot there is a small round and soft bubble around the tonsils. It is not painful. I can eat and drink; there is no fever. The doctor prescribed Amoxicillin, which I started the same day. The bubble is still there; there is no growth or pain. I only had cold like symptoms for a couple of days and they are now gone. Should I be concerned? What is this yellowish reddish bubble in my throat? Thank you.
– By Michael

Reply:

Sounds like an infection. The white spot you noticed at first could be a small pocket of collected pus.

Such presentations are common in throat infections. Our pharynx (inside part of the upper neck) is rich in lymphoid tissue (also called tonsillar tissue). During infections of this area, it is common to have whitish streak or spots inside the throat. These are nothing but small areas of collected pus.

You are rightly taking your antibiotics. Do take the whole course (regimen) of the prescribed medicine. This is important as incompletely treated infections usually come back with more resistance to get treated.

The yellowish bubble inside your throat could be a tonsillar cyst. These are very small fluid filled vesicles found in area near the tonsils. Fluid inside may be clear, yellowish (collected phlegm) or even reddish (blood stained).

What Are Tonsil Cysts?

In people with frequent upper respiratory tract infections (URI) or sinus infections, a phenomenon called post nasal drip occurs. Just like our nose visibly drains from outside during infections, it also drains from behind (post nasal). This drainage goes into the throat and causes irritation there. This may give us symptoms like cough and may sometimes lead to formation of tonsil cysts. These are nothing but small vesicular swelling filled with inflammatory substances.

Tonsillar cysts are entirely different from tonsil stones (tonsilolith).

Treatment

Usually the patient is on antibiotics for some throat infection. These blisters also respond to it and go away in course of time. Nothing else needs to be done.

Intervention is required in the following cases:

  • The blister starts increasing in size.
  • It becomes painful.
  • Causes difficulty in swallowing food.

If any of the above symptom is present, you will be required to see an ENT specialist. He may take a biopsy of the cyst and consider excising it.

It would be beneficial to refrain from smoking till you have that blister to avoid irritating it. Gargling with any medicated solution can be done.

Take Care,

Buddy M.D.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “What to Do for White Spots or Blisters in Throat?

  1. TINA SHARMA

    Whenever I catch cold, a whitish blister appears in my throat. Every time it appears at the same place and of the same size at the right side of my tonsil. It’s painless and disappears by itself after few days. Is anything serious?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      It may be a tonsillar cyst. You may read above in details about it.

      Since it is not painful, you may just let it be. It is not a serious thing to worry about.

      Development of such cyst is a common event in the immune reaction that occurs when you catch an infection.

      Reply
  2. Tonsil Cyst

    Hi, I wanted to ask about a tonsil cyst.

    I have made my appointment with the specialist for the a biopsy in three months time and I have had the problem for about 5 months–Is it safe to wait three months?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      The earlier you get it tested, the better it is. If it’s a tonsillar cyst, 3 months waiting may be accepted.

      If, however, the cyst is malignant, it can be risky. In such cases, you may get other symptoms like fatigue and weakness. Malignant lesions tend to grow in size and give you obstructive symptoms.

      Read above about the symptoms produced by a simple tonsillar cyst and its complications.

      Reply
  3. Mary Nyaboe

    I’ve experienced excessive production of mucus and phlegm for about 6 months but now it’s irritating as I always feel like vomiting and at times I vomit. What could be the problem?

    Reply
  4. Sourav

    Hi Dr,

    I am having some throat discomfort from last one month, before one week when I checked in mirror I observed that few blisters on the throat. It is not painful and itching. I consulted with a Doctor, he prescribed a antibiotic called Augmentin 50 for 5 days. After 5 days there is little change in the blister, but still it is there in the throat. When I consulted doctor again he told that if it is painless and not itching, no need to take medicine. Also some ulcers coming and going in mouth. Please share your advice on the same.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Would go with your doctor. If the blisters are not bothering you, leave them as such. No medicines are required.

      Such blisters may occur during throat infections or other irritations. They may appear if you take very spicy food, smoke or take alcohol. All these are irritants to the throat.

      You may avoid all possible throat irritant for some time. The blisters are likely to go away on their own.

      As for the mouth ulcers, these are common after antibiotic courses. Start taking vitamin b supplements (like b-complex capsules) for 7 to 10 days.

      Reply
  5. Miranda Brandl

    Hi Doctor ,

    During my pregnancy in the end of the second trimester i developed a sore throat , difficulty swallowing , horse voice and a mild fever of 100.4 F . i’ve had a stuffy nose throughout my pregnancy.
    My physician looked at my throat and said there are 2 small white patches. He gave me penicillin for 7 days. This solved the symptoms. one of the white patches disappeared but the other one seems to have morphed into a whitish yellow boil on the tonsil. Its been there for 2 months now.
    should i be concerned about that boil ?

    Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          There’s still an infection in your throat. However, it appears to be contained. There’s nothing to worry.

          It is suggested not to go for medications at this stage, unless you have problematic symptoms. You may try gargling your throat, avoid cold or spicy food stuff. These precautions should be enough to keep the infection contained.

          Reply
          1. Miranda Brandl

            Thank you for the advice and putting me at ease 🙂
            Everything is cancer on the internet these days

  6. Eke Ngozi

    Please, I’m having the feeling of a thick mucus stocked in my throat always having the urge to cough it out also have sores below d gum of lower last wisdom teeth also swollen painless lymph nodes, stiff neck muscles, mild head ache and pains at the back of the neck. just making me a whole lot uncomfortable

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      There appears to be some infective focus in your oral cavity, may be below the wisdom tooth. This may be causing excessive mucous production that you feel in your throat. Your lymph nodes have also swelled due to that infection.

      You may need antibiotics for this. See an ENT at the earliest.

      Reply
  7. Jackie

    Hi my tonsil has a wheatish bubble on it . It has been there for about 1 year . I don’t feel unwell and when I went to a doctor at my surgery she didn’t know what it was . She wrote to ent and I have an appointment in December. How could she not know what it was and how can she correctly refer me not knowing what it is .

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      It is not uncommon to get blisters there. This may be one. Blisters are benign and cause no harm. They regress on their own with time.

      However, you need to be examined by an ENT for diagnosis.

      Reply
  8. Jackie

    I have a bubble wheatish coloured cyst on my tonsil . I went to a doctor and she wasn’t sure what it was . She referred me to ent , the appointment is in December. How can she not know what it was and how can she correctly refer me ., not knowing .
    I am not feeling ill at all . My appetite is great , no weight loss etc . The only reason I went was through curiosity

    Reply

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