What You Need to Know About Cysts? Types & Symptoms

Cysts: Causes & types

Cysts are lumps under the skin filled with fluid or solid substances such as hair that can grow anywhere on the body and are caused by various factors, such as inflammation, infection, or heredity.

The main symptom is a lump that grows on specific body parts and can increase on the face, chest, back, neck, scalp. The cause of cysts in women is usually related to the menstrual cycle, aka abnormal menstruation. It could also be due to the growth of uterine cells that grow outside the uterus.

A woman's risk of developing ovarian cysts increases if she has hormonal problems, pregnancy, endometriosis, and pelvic infections. Cysts can occur in both men and women. Depending on the type, cysts can form due to infection, blockage, inflammation that occurs in the long term, or due to a hereditary disease. 

Below will be explained the causes of cysts based on the type of cyst.

Epidermoid Cyst 

Epidermoid cysts are noncancerous lumps under the skin. These cysts can appear on any part of the skin but are more common on the face, head, back, neck, and genital area. Epidermoid cysts develop when protein gets trapped under the skin. When infected, the cyst can be red, swollen, and painful. Epidermoid cysts are caused by a buildup of keratin, a protein that occurs naturally in skin cells.

Epidermoid cysts are yellow-brown in color and contain a thick, smelly fluid that ranges in size from the size of a marble to the size of a ping pong ball. 

This epidermoid cyst lump has several characteristics: Lumps the size of a marble to the size of a ping pong ball, which usually appears on the face, upper body, or neck. At the top of the lump, a blackhead seems, and when it becomes inflamed or infected, the area around the cyst becomes red and swollen. When the cyst ruptures, a thick, yellow-smelling fluid will come out from the cyst.

Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion cysts are noncancerous cysts or lumps that commonly form in the tendons and joints at the top of the wrist, the palm side of the wrist, the base of the finger on the palm side, and the top of the fingertip joint. These fluid-filled lumps most commonly grow on the hands or wrists. Ganglion cysts can appear, disappear, or change size rapidly. 

The size of the cyst will increase as the activity in the joint increases. Usually, the ganglion is round or oval in length and contains a fluid shaped like a jelly.Ganglion cysts occur when joint fluid builds up and forms a pocket in a joint or tendon. Ganglion that is still small is usually shaped like a bean. Meanwhile, the larger ganglion generally has a diameter of about 2.5 centimeters (cm). The cause of ganglion cyst formation is still not known with certainty. Several conditions are thought to increase the risk of ganglion cysts, namely osteoarthritis and joint injury.

Ovarian Cyst 

An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that grows on a woman's ovaries (ovaries). These cysts usually appear during the fertile period or the woman's menstruation. The ovaries function to produce eggs (ova), the hormone estrogen, and the hormone progesterone. Ovum will develop and experience maturation in the ovary, then be released every month throughout the childbearing age. Each woman has two ovaries (ovaries), one on the right and one on the left side of the uterus. The ovary, which is the size of a walnut, is part of the female reproductive system.

Many women experience ovarian cysts; most of these cysts are small, so they are neither disturbing nor dangerous. Generally, ovarian cysts go away on their own without treatment within a few months. However, when the cyst ruptures, it can cause severe symptoms. To prevent health problems due to ovarian cysts, women are highly recommended to undergo regular pelvic examinations and recognize the signs carefully.

Pilonidal Cyst

Pilonidal cysts are skin bumps that appear near the tailbone and wrist, just above the cleavage of the buttocks. These lumps contain fragments of hair follicles and skin. Pilonidal cysts are more common in young men who often sit too long, for example those who work as drivers. 

A pilonidal cyst will look like a pimple above the cleft of the buttocks. It is located about 4-8 cm above the anal canal. These lumps often go unnoticed because they usually don't cause bothersome symptoms. The exact cause of pilonidal cysts is not known. However, it is thought to have grown due to hair in the buttocks area penetrating the skin. The immune system will perceive the hair as a foreign object and trigger the growth of cysts.

Breast Cyst

A breast cyst is a round or oval lump filled with non-cancerous (benign) fluid that grows in breast tissue. These lumps do not contain cancer cells or are soft. Some cysts are too small to feel, while others grow to a few inches, large enough to make you uncomfortable. Breast cysts can be more than one and develop in one or both breasts. If palpated, breast cysts feel soft like a balloon filled with water. Cysts in the breast can be uncomfortable or painful, depending on the size of the cyst. 

Hormonal changes influence the growth of breast cysts in the menstrual cycle. This condition generally affects women approaching menopause between the ages of 35 and 55 years, especially women receiving hormone replacement therapy.

To ensure that the type of lump in the breast is a cyst, the doctor will start the diagnosis by examining the patient's symptoms and medical history. The presence of cysts can be detected early by doing regular checkups, at least once a year. 

If on the first examination a cyst is found that is not too large, with a limit of 5 cm, then the control must be done every three months, and the detection of the cyst is done using an internal examination with ultrasound aids. However, ultrasound aids sometimes cannot distinguish the type of cyst directly. Certain. 

Therefore, it is necessary to take a history or ask about the history of the disease, such as how the menstruation was, whether there was pain or not, and so on. Then, a physical examination will also be carried out as a whole, especially in the breast. This is done to find out if there are other abnormalities in the growing lump and part of the breast.

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