A cyst is a sac filled with fluid or other material that can form in different parts of the body. They can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
There are many different types of cysts, including:
- Sebaceous cysts: small, benign cysts that form under the skin, often on the face or scalp, and are filled with a thick, oily substance
- Ovarian cysts: fluid-filled sacs that can form on or inside the ovaries, often caused by hormonal imbalances
- Kidney cysts: fluid-filled sacs that can form on or inside the kidneys
- Epidermoid cysts: small cysts that form under the skin, usually on the face, scalp, or neck, and are filled with a thick, cheese-like substance
- Ganglion cysts: small, benign cysts that form on or near joints, tendons, and ligaments, often on the wrist or hand
Causes of cysts can include:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Trauma or injury
- Certain medical conditions
- Blocked ducts
Symptoms of cysts vary depending on the type and location of the cyst, but can include:
- A lump or bump under the skin
- Pain or discomfort in the affected area
- Tenderness to the touch
- Redness or inflammation
Diagnosis of cysts is typically made by a physical examination, an evaluation of medical history and may include imaging tests such as X-ray, CT scan, or MRI.
Treatment for cysts will depend on the type, size, location, and symptoms of the cyst. Some common treatments include:
- Observation: if the cyst is small and causing no symptoms, it may be simply monitored over time to see if it changes in size or symptoms.
- Drainage: if the cyst is causing pain or discomfort, a small incision may be made to remove the fluid or material inside.
- Excision: if the cyst is large or causing problems, it may be surgically removed.
- Medication: in some cases, medication may be prescribed to reduce inflammation or pain.
- Hormonal therapy: for certain types of cysts, such as ovarian cysts, hormonal therapy may be prescribed to regulate hormones and prevent the recurrence of cysts.
It is important to note that not all cysts require treatment, as many cysts will resolve on their own. However, if a cyst is causing symptoms, it is best to have it evaluated by a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment.
To discuss examination and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.
To learn more about cysts, please click on https://www.healthline.com/health/cyst#identification
Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych