What is a Cyst?

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A cyst is a type of skin abnormality, a benign non-cancerous closed pocket of flesh filled with fluid, or fluid-like material (such as pus, or skin-oil, for instance). Cysts can arise in different places all over the body, and there are hundreds of different kinds of cysts, most of which are absolutely harmless. Cysts tend to be more common among those of you with skin that already has quite an oily complexion.

Causes of cysts

Cysts can emerge due to various reasons, such as when the flow of fluid is blocked, or because of any chronic inflammation or infection. Cysts can also be hereditary, or due to defects when organs are developing at early stages of life.

Implications of cysts

In order to ease any concerns, it must be stressed that cysts are by and large, painless, and do not tend to grow at a rapid rate. In fact, only in very rare instances do cysts form a formidable problem; symptomatic of hormonal imbalance or cancer. Moreover, cysts are also very common occurrences, and even when they do occur, they are unlikely to become malignant, often remaining stable for years without any noticeable change in appearance or size. In spite of this, cysts can cause a small amount of pain should they rupture. This can lead the cyst towards extra swelling, should the area become infected or inflamed in light of the rupture. In such a case, consultation with your doctor and subsequent treatment of the area is recommended.

Types of cyst

Depending on the area of the body where the cyst is found, and what material is contained within the closed sac of flesh which structures the cyst, the cyst may well be allocated a certain name. Of course, treatments vary depending on the different kinds of cyst. The most common cysts are sebaceous cysts (otherwise known as epidermoid cysts), ganglion cysts, Baker’s cysts, and ovarian cysts; all of which will be described below, among others.


If you have cysts which persistently reappear, consultation with a dermatologist is advised. Surgical removal is almost always recommended as the best option for treating large infected cysts. It must be pointed out that any poor technique from your surgeon may lead to scarring in the affected area. If the cyst is completely removed, it will not reappear; only if the patient has a tendency towards cyst formation will more cysts develop.

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