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Cysts under the skin

Cysts are usually benign growths that are filled with liquid or semi-solid substance. They can grow everywhere in the human body. Sometimes the cysts may appear beneath the surface of the skin and they can be felt under touch as small bumps not bigger than the size of peas or beans.

There are many types of cysts, among which are ovarian cysts, cysts of the thyroid gland, sebaceous cysts, lipoma, ganglion cysts, cystic acne and others. The most common types of cysts that tend to occur under the skin are sebaceous cysts, cystic acne and lipoma.

Causes of cysts under the skin

The main reasons for the appearance of cysts under the skin is not established yet, although there are several potential causes that might be responsible for the incidence of this condition. Skin infections and acute skin inflammations are believed to be responsible for cysts under the skin. It is also assumed that cyst under the skin may also be inherited due to certain genes.

Sebaceous cysts

Another name for the sebaceous cysts is epidermoid cysts. The most common places where these cysts appear are upper arms, ears, back and the scalp. Milia are tiny whitish bumps on the skin, while wen is the lump that appears on the scalp and is filled with a fatty substance called sebum. Sebaceous glands produce sebum and sometimes they can be blocked because of some factors. The sebaceous cysts are round, soft, smooth and of whitish or yellowish color. When these cyst burst, the sebum is semi-solid and of foul smell. Sebaceous cysts usually disappear alone after a couple of days, and they should not be removed until they start to cause pain.

Cystic acne

Cystic acne is a type of acne that usually affects the teenagers. This type of acne is severe and causes pain. The cystic acne occurs in cases of blocked oil ducts, which causes infection. When the cystic acne appears, it is recommended to completely clean the skin by means of certain chemicals, such as benzoyl peroxide and other skin cleansers.


Lipoma, also called lump of fat, is a type of cyst that can also be found beneath the surface of the skin. The lipomas are painless and may even grow to the size of 10 centimeters. However, they are benign fatty growths and should not cause a great concerns in the person who develops them under the skin.

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