Cyst: Types, Diagnosis, Treatment And More

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Cyst: Types, Diagnosis, Treatment And More

Cyst: Types, Diagnosis, Treatment And More

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A cyst refers to a sac-shaped enclosure composed of membranous tissue that holds various substances such as fluid, air, or other materials. These cysts have the potential to develop in various regions of the body, including beneath the skin.

There exists a wide range of cyst types, with the majority being categorised as benign or noncancerous growths. Determining the necessity of treatment for a cyst involves considering several factors, such as the specific type of cyst, its location within the body, the presence of pain or discomfort caused by the cyst, and whether it has become inflamed or infected.

There are numerous types of cysts and pseudocysts that can develop throughout your body. Certain cysts are associated with other conditions like PCOS or PKD. Among the more frequently encountered types are the following:

Epidermoid cyst

These are small, noncancerous lumps that contain the protein keratin. They typically arise when there is trauma near a hair follicle within the skin. When the top layer of skin, known as the epidermis, grows inward instead of outward as it normally does, an epidermoid cyst can form. 

Sebaceous cyst

Sebaceous cysts are less common than epidermoid cysts and are filled with sebum. They often develop within the sebaceous glands, which are located within the skin and hair follicles. Sebaceous glands produce oil for the skin and hair. Ruptured or blocked sebaceous glands can lead to the formation of sebaceous cysts.

Breast Cyst

When fluid accumulates near the glands in your breasts, it can lead to the development of benign cysts. These cysts may cause discomfort or sensitivity in the affected region. They are frequently found in the breast tissue of women in their 30s and 40s.

Ganglion Cyst

Typically appearing near the joints of the wrist or hand, ganglion cysts are benign in nature. However, they can also emerge in the foot or ankle area. 

Ovarian cyst

An ovarian cyst is typically the result of an unopened follicle that fails to release an egg. This leads to the accumulation of fluid, forming a cyst.

Ovarian cysts are commonly found in people of reproductive age and are often detected during pelvic examinations.

Mucous cyst

A mucous cyst is a fluid-filled lump that develops on the lip or around the mouth when mucus blocks the salivary glands. Common causes of mucous cysts include biting the lip or cheek, lip piercings, salivary gland rupture, and poor dental hygiene.

Cystic Acne

Cystic acne occurs when a combination of bacteria, oil, and dead skin obstructs the pores, resulting in the most severe form of acne. However, it typically improves as you age.The appearance of cystic acne resembles large boils filled with pus, and it can be tender and painful to touch.

Folliculitis (Ingrown Hair Cyst)

Folliculitis is an inflammatory condition, often caused by an infection. It can develop when a hair grows into the skin, leading to the formation of a pseudocyst in the nearby area. These pseudocysts are commonly observed in individuals who use hair removal methods such as shaving or waxing.

How can you identify a cyst?

A cyst can appear as a raised area on your skin, resembling a bump. When located just beneath the skin, it might feel like a small lump.

Certain cysts develop deep within the body, making them undetectable by touch. However, they can still be associated with other symptoms or give rise to them.

For instance, ovarian cysts, including those originating from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), may lead to issues concerning ovarian and reproductive functions. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD), characterised by the formation of cysts in the kidneys, can negatively impact kidney function.

Cysts generally exhibit slow growth and possess a smooth surface. They can vary in size, ranging from minuscule to very large. In most cases, cysts do not cause pain and rarely present problems, unless they meet the following conditions:

  1. Becoming infected

  2. Attaining a significant size

  3. Putting pressure on a nerve or blood vessel

  4. Developing in a sensitive area

  5. Affecting the functionality of an organ

How are cysts treated?

Attempting to squeeze or pop a cyst or pseudocyst yourself is not recommended as it can result in infection. In certain cases, cysts may improve spontaneously. Applying a warm compress to a cyst can facilitate the healing process by promoting drainage. However, medical intervention may be necessary in other instances.

Medical treatment

Draining the cyst

Using a needle, the healthcare professional can extract fluids and other contents from the cyst.


Corticosteroid injections may be administered to reduce inflammation in the cyst.

Surgical removal

If draining is unsuccessful or if the cyst is located internally and difficult to access, surgical removal may be recommended.


Typically, benign cysts and pseudocysts do not result in long-term complications and may even resolve spontaneously. In cases where a cyst refills after being drained, surgical removal might be a viable option to consider. If cancerous cysts are present, your healthcare provider will engage in a discussion with you regarding appropriate treatment. The prognosis will depend on the specific type of cancer involved.

Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.