What are cysts?

Cysts are membranous tissue sacs containing fluid, air, or other substances. Cysts are common and can occur anywhere on or in the body. There are many types of cysts, and identifying them without the knowledge of an experienced professional can be challenging. They are relatively painless and can vary in size, ranging from a tiny sac to the size of a melon—they frequent skin, ovaries, breasts, or kidneys. Cysts are not abnormal parts of the tissue. The membrane is distinct and separated from the tissue by a cyst wall. Most cysts are non-cancerous, but it is always advised to get them checked by a dermatologist.

How to recognize a cyst?

A cyst can appear as a bump on your skin. It can also feel like a small lump below your skin. Other times cyst grows inside your body where they cannot be felt, but you may develop other symptoms.

Cysts typically grow slowly. While they are not painful and do not cause problems, they can cause discomfort for numerous reasons. Some of the reasons being:

  • Infection
  • Large size
  • Affecting the function of an organ
  • Growing in an uncomfortable area
  • Applying pressure on a nerve

If any of the listed symptoms are present, scheduling a visit with Dr. Chacon is recommended. Dr. Chacon can diagnose your cyst based on clinical symptoms and a wellness exam. If she is concerned about the cyst, she may perform a core needle biopsy. The biopsy will be sent to a lab where a specialized pathologist will examine the extraction. If anything were to come back unusual, Dr. Chacon will contact you.

Common cysts

Cystic acne is one of the most common cysts. It is inflammatory acne that causes pus-filled cysts deep under the skin that are painful. Bacteria enters the pores and gets trapped along with oil and skin cells. The bacteria causes the dermis, the skins middle layer, to swell. Since cystic acne is prone to scarring, it is best to get your acne professionally diagnosed. Various treatments can be prescribed to help cystic acne.

Sebaceous cysts are white or yellow and can move easily under the skin. Sebaceous cysts form when sebaceous glands become clogged. They can be found all over the body except the palms and soles of feet. They are typically found in areas such as the ear canal, genitals, mid-back, chin, and forehead since these locations have the greatest sebaceous glands per centimeter.

Baker’s cyst is a fluid-filled cyst behind the knee and forms when patients have knee-joint conditions such as arthritis or torn cartilage. These cyst form when too much lubricating fluid is being produced by the body. Physical therapy, fluid draining, and medications can all be used to help treat a Baker’s cyst.

Pilar cysts are skin-colored lumps that form on the skin’s surface. They are benign but can grow to a size that may be uncomfortable. Removal is not necessary, but they can be removed for cosmetic purposes.

Folliculitis is a cyst that forms when a hair follicle becomes infected. It is seen in people who shave or wax. The hair becomes trapped underneath the skin. Ingrown hair cysts are an example of folliculitis.

How are cysts treated?

It is essential never to try to squeeze or pop a cyst yourself. This can worsen the cysts and can increase your chance of infection. To minimize discomfort and speed up healing, you can put a warm compress on it. In some cases, a cyst can improve on its own. If the cyst condition worsens, medical care may be required.

There are different treatment options if you seek medical attention for a cyst. Some possibilities include draining using a needle, prescribing medications such as cortisone injections to reduce inflammation, or performing minor surgery.

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