Cyst removal is a simple procedure, & with the latest technology can be quick, painless, & effective. Treatment options for cysts include minor surgery (with a scalpel or surgical scissors), injection (with cortisone or other steroids, which can cause them to shrink), & laser treatment, & will depend on the size, nature, & location of your cyst.
As with any lump on the skin, it is advised that you see a dermatologist who can tell you what it is, & whether or not it poses a danger to your health. If the lump is diagnosed as a cyst & is not infected, you may choose not to have it removed.
A cyst is a dome-shaped lump beneath the skin surface, caused by a collection of fluid. They are not usually painful, but if they become infected or turn into a boil or abscess, they can be sore, tender, & red. A cyst does not usually affect the skin surface, unless it is infected, when it can form a yellow or whitish bump & may develop pus.
Cysts form in blocked hair follicles, & are found frequently on the face, neck, shoulders, chest, or around the breasts, groin, genitals, & inguinal folds. They can also affect the internal organs, such as the liver, ovaries, kidneys, & brain.
They are more common in patients who have acne.
There are dozens of different types of cyst. They can range in size from less than a centimetre to a few centimetres in diameter, & tend to grow slowly.
The appearance of a cyst depends on whether or not it is inflamed, infected, or chronic.
The majority of cysts do not have any symptoms or signs. Inflamed cysts look swollen & red, & may have a small dark plug or punctum in the centre that oozes fluid or pus, which has a foul smell.
Chronic cysts (usually called epidermoid or sebaceous cysts) are soft, round or spherical, smooth swellings, which do not leak fluid or produce pus.
Pilar cysts tend to occur on the hair follicles of the scalp, can be quite large, & cause hair loss. They tend to affect middle-aged people, mostly women, & tend to run in families.
A ganglion (synovial) cyst is a swelling that forms around the lining of a joint or tendon, filled with jelly-like fluid. It can be painful.
A dermoid cyst is an abnormal growth derived from residual embryonic cells, containing epidermis (skin cells), sebaceous glands, & hair follicles.
A chalazion is a cyst on the inner eyelid, caused by a blocked gland. It can obstruct the vision & cause discomfort.
Cysts can share symptoms with skin abscesses & boils, both of which are painful lumps underneath the skin that are infected. Cysts can develop into abscesses or boils.
Baker cysts (popliteal cyst) are benign swellings that form in the synovial bursa, behind the knee.