A cyst is a sac-like membranous tissue that contains fluid, air, or other substances and can grow almost anywhere in your body or under your skin. In most cases, cysts are noncancerous but there are certain types of cysts that can be cancerous. This is why it’s necessary to get suspicious growths checked out by a specialist. Additionally, they can cause immense discomfort and pain if not treated. They vary in size from microscopic to large. Large cysts can displace organs and cause other complications. They can also be filled with pus which can cause infections. Here’s a detailed look at the types, causes, symptoms, and treatment of cysts.
There are many different types of cysts that are classified into two main categories; benign and malignant. Benign cysts are non-cancerous and develop as a result of a blockage in the body’s drainage system. Malignant cysts harbour tumours and have the potential to become cancerous. They are characterized by cells that secrete mucinous material into the cysts. Here are some of the common types of cysts:
Pillar Cysts: They are also known as trichilemmal cysts, are fluid-filled bumps that form from a hair follicle. They usually develop on the scalp.
Ovarian cysts: These are one of the most common types of cysts in females. They only develop in women who have regular periods as they form during ovulation. The majority of them are benign and cause no symptoms. However, some can become so large that the abdomen protrudes. Polycystic ovary syndrome refers to when the ovaries develop many small cysts. Things You Should Know Before Getting A Pap Smear
Breast cysts: These are common and may be painful, but they do not usually require any treatment. They can develop or change in size throughout the menstrual cycle, and they often disappear on their own. However, if they cause too much discomfort, a doctor can drain the fluid. Simple ones don’t increase the risk of breast cancer but complex cysts might contain cancer or increase a person’s risk of cancer later on, depending on the results of a biopsy.
Pilonidal cysts: They form in the skin near the tailbone or lower back, and they sometimes contain ingrown hair. They can grow in clusters, which sometimes creates a hole or cavity in the skin.
Pancreatic cysts: They are normally not considered true cysts. Health practitioners refer to them as “pseudocysts,” as they do not contain the types of cells present in true cysts.
Pineal gland cysts: These are benign and they form in the pineal gland in the brain. They are fairly common.
Sebaceous cysts: This type of cyst occurs on the skin of the face, back, scalp, or scrotum. Healthcare professionals call them epidermal, keratin, or epithelial cysts.
Tarlov cysts: Also known as perineural or sacral nerve root cysts, they are located at the base of the spine and are filled with cerebrospinal fluid.
Vocal fold cysts: There are two types of vocal fold cysts: mucus retention and epidermoid cysts. They can interfere with the quality of a person’s speech. It sometimes causes the vocal cords to produce multiple tones simultaneously, breathy speech, and hoarseness.
Acne cysts: Cystic acne, or nodulocystic acne, is a severe type of acne in which the skin’s pores become blocked, leading to infection and inflammation. 6 Mistakes To Avoid When Treating Acne
Arachnoid cysts: These affect newborn babies when the arachnoid membrane covers the brain during fetal development.
Baker’s cysts: A person with a Baker’s cyst often experiences a bulge and a feeling of tightness behind the knee. The pain may worsen when extending the knee or during physical activity.
Bartholin’s cysts: They can occur if the ducts of the Bartholin gland, which are situated inside the vagina, become blocked. A doctor may recommend surgery or prescription antibiotics as treatment.
Chalazion cysts: There are very small eyelid glands called meibomian glands that make a lubricant that comes out of tiny openings in the edges of the eyelids. Cysts can form here if the ducts are blocked.
Colloid cysts: These develop in the brain and contain gelatinous material. Doctors often recommend surgical removal as treatment.
Dermoid cysts: They comprise mature skin, hair follicles, sweat glands, and clumps of long hair, as well as fat, bone, cartilage, and thyroid tissue.
Epididymal cysts: These form in the vessels attached to the testes. They are common but don’t typically impair fertility or require treatment. Doctors may recommend surgery if it causes discomfort.
Ganglion cysts: They are small, harmless cysts that form on or near a joint or cover a tendon. They usually develop on the wrist but can also appear on the hand, foot, ankle, or knee.
Hydatid cysts: These develop due to a relatively small tapeworm. They form in the lungs or liver.
Thyroid cysts: They are solid or fluid-filled lumps that form within the thyroid. Most are harmless and cause no symptoms. Only a small percentage is cancerous.
Kidney cysts: There are several types of kidney or renal cysts. Solitary cysts contain fluids, sometimes including blood. Some are present at birth, while blockages cause others. People with renal vascular diseases may have cysts that formed due to the dilatation of the blood vessels. Signs And Symptoms Of Kidney Disease Or Issues
Periapical cysts: Also known as radicular cysts, they are the most common type of odontogenic cysts, which are those related to the formation and development of teeth. These usually develop due to inflammation of the pulp, pulp death, or tooth decay.
There are many causes of cyst formation. The following are some of the major causes:
- Genetic conditions
- Errors in embryonic development
- Cellular defects
- Chronic inflammatory conditions
- Blockages of ducts in the body
- Skin — Typically slow growing and painless, skin cysts are usually small, although some can grow to the size of golf balls. They do not cause pain unless they rupture or become inflamed. In these cases, there will be redness, swelling, and tenderness.
- Wrists — Ganglion cysts can appear suddenly and grow quickly. They usually are about the size of a dime and may be tender to the touch. In some cases, a ganglion cyst may weaken a person’s grip or make it painful.
- Knees — Baker’s cyst may feel like a hard-boiled egg when the patient bends the knee. The knee joint may feel swollen and tight. If a cyst breaks open, it can cause pain in the back of the knee or down the leg. If a cyst is large enough, it can lead to swelling in the leg and foot.
- Ovaries — When they rupture, they cause sudden, severe pain in one side of the lower abdomen or upper pelvis. They are associated with menstrual spotting and irregular menstruation.
- Breasts — Most breast cysts do not cause any symptoms. Others are tender to the touch. Cysts may change in size and sensitivity during the course of a menstrual cycle.
- Vagina — Bartholin’s gland cysts may cause a recurring, tender swelling on either side of the vaginal entrance. Sometimes, they can become infected; causing pain, and occasionally pus may drain from them.
- Cervix — Nabothian cysts usually have no symptoms.
- Kidneys — Usually, kidney cysts are discovered only when a radiology test is done for another reason. They can sometimes cause back pain. If they grow large enough, they can trigger abdominal pain. They can cause bloody urine. Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited disorder that can lead to kidney failure.
As mentioned, most cysts are benign and don’t require any treatment except when they cause discomfort or pain. The type of treatment will also depend on a number of factors including size, position, and type of cyst. A large cyst may require surgical treatment. Doctors can also drain the liquid by inserting a needle into the cavity. In cases where cysts develop due to a pre-existing condition such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, treatment will be on the condition itself. For others, you will get medication.
There are also some home remedies that include:
Hot compress – Heat clean water to a warm or hot temperature, not boiling. Wait for the water to cool to a tolerable, but hot, temperature for skin contact. Dampen a clean cloth with the water and apply to the cyst for 20 to 30 minutes. Repeat a few times each day.
Apple cider vinegar – Mix equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar. Apply this dilution directly to the cyst several times per day. You can combine apple cider vinegar applications with the hot water compress home remedy. Simply add the apple cider vinegar to the hot water in the proper dilution ratio. 15 Proven Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Aloe vera – Following label directions, apply a pure aloe vera gel, cream, or lotion directly to an irritated or painful cyst as often as needed. 5 Benefits Of Aloe Vera Gel
Witch hazel – Dab a cotton ball with witch hazel. Apply to the cyst area. Repeat a few times per day or as often as you’d like. People with sensitive skin may have reactions to witch hazel, but this can be avoided by diluting witch hazel with water.
Honey – One method is to create a poultice by mixing honey, preferably raw and all-natural, with other antimicrobial herbs and ingredients. You then apply the mixture to the cyst and leave it on overnight.
Alternatively, you can put a dab of pure honey on the cyst site. Leave the honey on the cyst for a few hours, as a longer amount of time may help it to be more effective. Wash the honey away, and apply more as often as you would like. 8 Benefits Of Honey You Should Know About
Turmeric – If possible, use fresh turmeric powder. Mix turmeric with water to create a paste. Apply it to the cyst as needed. The Many Benefits Of Turmeric
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