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Common Causes and Treatments for Cysts

Cysts are sac-like pockets of tissue that contain fluid, dead skin, or other substances and can develop anywhere on the skin or just under the surface. Keep reading to learn where cysts come from and how they are treated.

Understanding Cysts

There are many kinds of cysts which means there are different kinds of treatments. In general, cysts are painless, but some types can be very painful especially when concentrated in a certain area of the body like cystic acne on the face. Cysts vary in size and can be on or below the skin. In some cases, cysts appear around organs and can inhibit organ function.

However, most cysts grow slowly and have a smooth surface. It’s important to note that while acne blemishes may resemble a cyst, cysts are often harder to ‘pop’ and are firmer than a pimple or zit. A cyst will usually be painless unless it becomes infected, grows on a sensitive area, is large in size, or impinges on a nerve or blood vessel.

Causes and Formation

Cysts can be the result of an infection, chronic inflammation, or blockages but they can also be genetic or inherited skin conditions.

Overall, there are several kinds of cysts including:

  • Epidermoid: Small benign bumps filled with keratin that may for around a hair follicle or top layer of the skin
  • Sebaceous: Cysts that are filled with sebum – the waxy substance that keeps skin moisturized – and can form in the sebaceous gland
  • Ganglion: Benign cysts formed near joint areas in the wrists, hands, feet, or ankles and are more common in women
  • Pilonidal: Formed at the top of the buttocks and are filled with skin debris, body oils, or hair.
  • Pilar: Skin-colored, benign lumps that form on the surface that can grow large and cause discomfort
  • Mucous: Typically found around the mouth or lips when salivary glands become blocked. These cysts are usually caused by lip piercings, improper dental hygiene, or lip and cheek biting
  • Cystic acne: A type of acne that results from bacteria, oil, and dead skin buildup that looks like large pus-filled boils and can be painful
  • Folliculitis: Ingrown hair cysts that form from ingrown hairs near pseudocyst. These cysts may occur after shaving, waxing, or other hair removal methods

The most common types of cysts among those listed above include cystic acne, folliculitis, sebaceous, and epidermoid. There are many other types of cysts that could be more dangerous and require medical and surgical treatment or may be cancerous.

Cyst Treatment

For more severe cases like ovarian cysts may require surgical intervention, but for common cysts patients can receive treatment at med spas, and outpatient practices. Cystic acne affects millions of people and while it may be painful, can be treated with topical and oral medication prescribed by a dermatologist. Similarly, folliculitis, sebaceous, and epidermoid cysts may be diffused by a dermatologist in office or drained to relieve inflammation.

Cyst Removal

If you are struggling with cysts, Advanced Dermatology Center can help. Our team of dermatologists and skin care professionals can address your skin concerns with a variety of treatments from draining to topical and oral medication for cyst removal.

Become a better you with Advanced Dermatology Center today.