While the direct cause of cysts is currently unknown, most people develop these grows because of genetic and/or environmental influences. They are typically harmless, sac-like growths that extender into the deeper layers of the skin. They are often filled with a fluid or semi-fluid substance, which means their texture may vary depending on size and placement.
Cysts appear as abnormal growths. They are often smooth lumps just under the surface of the skin. While usually painless to the touch, inflamed cysts can be very painful. If inflammation occurs, the area will become swollen, red, and tender. Sometimes, inflammation will cause the cyst to rupture, allowing the fluid or semi-solid material to leak through an opening in the skin’s surface.
There are several types of cysts, and each has its own cause and set of symptoms. We have listed some of the most experienced below.
- Epidermoid cyst – These are small, slow-growing cysts commonly found on the face, head, neck, back, or genitals. They are typically caused by a buildup of keratin and become swollen and painful when infected.
- Sebaceous cyst – Sebaceous cysts are found on the face, neck, and torso. They are often large, which means they can cause pressure and pain.
- Ingrown hair cyst – These cysts begin as hair the grows downward or sideways instead of out. The hair becomes ingrown, creating an inflamed cyst.
- Cystic acne – These cysts are inflamed, pus-filled, and painful to the touch. They are often identified because they are bigger and deeper than typical whiteheads and blackheads.
Some cysts may go away on their own, but most will not improve without medical intervention. Cyst treatment will depend on the type of growth you have. Your doctor may recommend draining the cyst, treating it with medication, or surgically removing it. Cyst treatment is highly personalized, taking into consideration your cyst’s type, size, and inflammation level, as well as your skin type and personal comfort. While some over-the-counter products may advertise great results, cyst treatment should always be provided by a medical professional. This is the safest and most effective method.