Who Can Develop Cysts?
Almost anyone can develop a cyst. However, people with certain genetic conditions, infections, chronic inflammation, blocked ducts, parasites, and injuries are more likely to develop cysts over time.
Women with PCOS, for example, are prone to developing ovarian cysts. Teens with chronic acne are predisposed to developing cysts as a result of clogged pores and inflammation. Individuals who travel to other countries may also develop a cyst as their body attempts to encapsulate a parasite.
Types of Cysts
Cysts can occur on anywhere on the body and they can range drastically in size. Depending on their location, however, they may be called different names in order to best support a clear diagnosis and treatment plan.
If a cyst appears on the scalp, it is known as a pilar cyst. Cysts on the ovaries are known as ovarian cysts. When individuals with acne develop cysts in areas where breakouts are, these are known as cystic acne. If someone develops a cyst as a result of a blocked gland or duct, these are known as sebaceous cysts.
Another common type of cyst that most commonly affects the face is known as a milia. These are exceptionally small epidermoid cysts that look like tiny white or yellow bumps on the face. Many men, women, and teens first encounter a milia and believe that they are whiteheads. However, when someone tries to “pop” them, they will find it exceptionally hard to remove a milia without damaging the rest of their skin – which is one reason why Dr. Ip strongly discourages patients from trying to extract anything on their own. And, though they often stay small, many patients prefer to milia removed for cosmetic reasons.
What Causes Cysts?
The development of a cyst occurs in response to inflammation or as the body’s reaction to a foreign object or infection. In some cases, cysts can even develop as a result of clogged oil glands or pores, leading to cystic acne.
In general, cysts can be thought of as a natural way for a body to section off something that shouldn’t be there. However, cysts can also occur as an “overreaction” to hormones and other stimuli.
Treatment Options for Cysts
Since cysts tend to contain biological matter, they can easily become inflamed or infected. As a result of trauma or internal pressure, the contents of a cyst can rupture into the surrounding area. Cysts can also be red, swollen, and painful to the touch.
In many cases, removing the cyst is best for medical and cosmetic reasons. In the case of cysts that occur near the surface of the skin, removal is an easy process.
During a quick, outpatient procedure that often occurs right in your dermatologist’s office, your dermatologist will numb the area and remove the cyst. If the cyst has ruptured, your doctor will take the time to clear the area and remove all remnants.
Depending on the size of the cyst, your dermatologist may also close the area with small stitches to try and prevent a cyst from forming there in the future.
Leave your skincare to the experts. Cysts are a common skin condition that should be treated by a professional to ensure that they do not worsen and that they are not linked to a more serious medical condition. If you would like to experience premier dermatological care to achieve beautiful and healthy skin, please schedule your appointment with Dr. Ip today.