Cysts and Other Bumps

Submitted by Patrick Hatfield on Fri, 01/15/2021 - 12:10 pm

As we age, we may come across bumps and lumps and other curious things on our body.  The important thing is to note the type, location and size of the lump and any pain that may be associated with it.

Types of Cysts

Epidermoid – small, slow-growing, benign cysts are most commonly found on the head, neck, back, and even genitals.  It is usually caused by keratin buildup in the skin.  It is usually skin-colored, unless it is infected, then it will appear red and swollen.  They are usually filled with a thick material.

Sebaceous – These cysts are found on the face, neck, or torso.  Large cysts will usually cause pain and they are mostly noncancerous and slow-growing.

Breast – These lumps are often noncancerous.  It is important to know how your breasts feel, as they will undergo changes as your hormones undergo changes.  Breast self-exams are important to stay familiar with your breast tissue.  If the lump changes or you notice discharge from your nipple, you should make an appointment to have your breast examined.  You should also get a breast exam at 40 years of age, and even younger if you have a family history.

Ganglion – A ganglion cyst is a round, fluid-filled lump of tissue that is usually found around the joints, especially in wrists, ankles, feet, and hands.  Fluid accumulation usually occurs due to injury or trauma. These types of cysts are common and harmless and usually don’t cause any pain.

Pilonidal – This cyst is found in the cleft at the top of the buttocks.  This can be caused by a combination of changing hormones, hair growth and friction from clothes.  It consists of a small hole or tunnel that becomes infected and filled with pus.  Pain is often experienced when sitting or standing.

Ovarian – Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop on one or both ovaries.  They may be asymptomatic or painful.  Abdominal bloating or swelling, painful intercourse, and painful bowel movements can be signs of this type of cyst.

Chalazia – This type of cyst is a painless lump or swelling of an upper or lower lid, caused by a blocked oil gland.  Infection may be present if red and swollen.

Pilar – These cysts are fairly common, flesh-colored, and usually benign.  They don’t often cause discomfort, but they can be removed for cosmetic preferences.

Baker’s – This type of cyst is fluid-filled and found as a lump at the back of the knee, usually restricting movement.  This cyst will affect the knee joint and causes pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion.  The good news is that it will usually go away on its own.

Cystic Acne – Cystic acne is cysts right below the skin, caused by blocked oil glands.  It looks large and pus-filled on the skin and there are medications that can be used to treat it and reduce the swelling and inflammation.

Ingrown Hair – This type of cyst occurs when a hair grows into the skin and causes infection.  These cysts are often caused by those that shave or wax to remove hair.