Simply put, a cyst is a closed sac that could contain liquid, semi solid or gaseous material, that is visibly or palpably separate from its surrounding tissue. Generally speaking, a cyst is a harmless thing that may often go away on its own and without treatment; but which can sometimes develop into abscess and even require surgery.
Even certain kinds of acne are cysts and they can be located at different parts of the body. For instance a sebaceous cyst is one that originates in the sebaceous glans, a pilar cyst starts out in the hair follicles and an epidermoid cyst originates in the epidermis layer of the skin.
Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly experienced types of cysts.
· Facial acne is often cystic in nature.
· A Baker’s cyst is a usually benign cyst that is found behind the knee joint.
· A breast cyst is a fluid filled sac in the breast which is most often benign and in most cases treatment is not required unless pain and discomfort manifest themselves.
· Chalazion cysts are like styes in that they occur on the eyelids and are caused by inflammation, however they are usually painless and usually occur inside the eyelid rather than on the outer surface.
· Dermoid cysts can contain mature tissue including hair, blood, fat, bone, teeth, cartilage, nails, etc, and they are usually benign and usually located in the ovaries, the testes, and several other locations from head to tailbone; wherever a teratoma (an encapsulated tumor) can occur.
· A bible cyst or a ganglion cyst is one that is seen to occur around the joints and the tendons of the feet and hands.
· Gartner’s duct cyst occurs in the vagina or the vulva or other reproductive and urinary organs.
· A nabothian cyst or nabothian follicle is one that occurs in the female cervix, a mucus filled cyst that feel like bumps that can be felt when inserting a diaphragm or similar device or during a pelvic exam.
· An ovarian cyst is a fluid filled growth that may be small as a pea or large as an orange and is seen in most women of childbearing age without causing any kind of harm or discomfort. Simple ovarian cysts are different from polycystic ovarian syndrome which is frequently a cause for infertility.
· A renal cyst is a fluid filled growth in the kidney, with a majority being benign.
In general cysts are benign, harmless growths that require no treatment and may resolve themselves over time. They occur due to blocked ducts (such as pores through which we sweat or hair follicles) or blockage occurring where body secretions take place.
However cysts are known to increase risk of developing tumors – for instance, breast cysts are usually nothing to worry about, but they could increase the risk of the woman developing breast cancer in the future and could be a warning sign for a woman to be careful.
Also when cysts become infected (and an abscess forms) this is potentially problematic and painful, and medical intervention may be needed.