Cyst – causes, treatment


cyst is a fluid-filled cavity in the tissue that is closed off from the rest of the tissue by membranes (epithelium). This is referred to as encapsulation. In addition, the cysts may be divided into several chambers. The fluids occurring in the cyst may consist in parts of pus, tissue fluid and blood.

What is a cyst?

The term cyst is derived from the Greek word “kystis”, which translates to bladder or bladder. A cyst is therefore a cavity filled with fluid that can form in any human tissue. Most often they occur in the breast, on the ovaries, but also in the kidney, liver or even in the lungs.

This cavity consists of one or more chambers and is closed by a capsule. Doctors distinguish between true cysts, which are lined with a layer of cells, and pseudocysts, which in turn are surrounded only by connective tissue. Cysts can vary in size: they can be a few millimeters in size and can only be seen under a microscope, but they can also take on a size in which they displace the tissue or even other organs.

Causes of cysts

A cyst, depending on where it formed, can have different causes:

If it forms in the skin layer, it is usually because fluid cannot drain unhindered. In the case of cysts in the female breast, ovaries or testicles, on the other hand, the influence of hormones is decisive.

Cysts in the kidney and liver are often based on a genetic disease and have therefore been inherited. For example, a cystic kidney develops due to a mutation of the 16th chromosome.

But chronic diseases can also lead to the formation of cysts. People suffering from cystic fibrosis (a congenital metabolic disease) have an increased risk of lung cysts, among other things.

Rarely, however, the reason for a cyst is to be found in parasites. An example of this is the dog tapeworm, which is often found in the Mediterranean countries, Africa and South America. The liver cysts formed by it usually occur individually and can grow up to 30 centimeters in size. But the fox tapeworm also forms cysts that can spread like a tumor throughout the liver. This can be found mainly in the Swiss Jura, southern Germany, the Swabian Alp and Tyrol.

Diseases with this symptom


Of course, even with a cyst, a wide variety of complications can arise, which arise due to various underlying diseases. As a rule, cysts are completely harmless. Many cysts are not noticeable at all because they sit deep under the skin. In such a case, however, complications can occur if the cysts become larger and thus displace organs or impair their function.

This can create a very unpleasant pressure, which should definitely be treated by a doctor. Anyone who thinks they have discovered a cyst should also consult a doctor immediately. This is the only way to determine for sure that it really is a cyst. Often cysts also occur in the female ovaries, which may even affect fertility.

Embryonic developmental disorders can also cause cysts that can be removed as needed. Such an intervention usually carries very few risks. One thing is certain: complications associated with a cyst are limited. Normally, cysts are completely harmless, as long as they do not enlarge or get in the way of important organs.

When to go to the doctor?

Just as diverse as the location of the cyst can be, so different are the symptoms occurring in type and intensity. In general, you should first consult your family doctor for palpable cysts. The same applies to severe or chronically recurring pain as well as leaking fluids such as pus or blood. Spontaneous onset of neurological disorders – speech or hearing impairments, uncontrollable twitches – should also be described to a doctor in a timely manner. First of all, the visit of the family doctor is sufficient.

He will either arrange for examinations himself – the ultrasound examination as well as blood, urine or stool checks – or refer directly to a specialist. The choice of specialist depends on the symptoms or the location of the cyst. Palpable lumps in the breast or groin area can be examined directly by their gynecologist. Men can also develop cysts in testicles or groin. You contact a urologist directly.

In the case of disorders of neurological processes, the family doctor usually refers directly to a neurologist. If a hardening in the jaw area is felt, the timely examination at a dentist is advisable. If not treated, gums and tooth roots can become inflamed. Often cysts form in the area of the knee or elbow joint as a result of physical overexertion. This can initially be treated by immobilization and cooling as well as the intake of weak painkillers itself. However, if the symptoms worsen, a visit to the family doctor or orthopedist is also advisable in this case.

Treatment & Therapy

Treatment of the cyst depends on its size, the likelihood of malignant degeneration, as well as the severity of the symptoms.

Anyone who has been diagnosed with a cyst should first have it regularly observed by ultrasound, as there is a chance of spontaneous regression. But even if the regression does not occur, the symptoms often occur, so that the person concerned can continue to live normally even with cyst.

Depending on the tissue in which a cyst has formed, there are other treatment options in addition to surgical removal. For example, a kidney cyst or a breast cyst can be treated by puncture. A needle is inserted into the cyst and finally the fluid is sucked out of the cavity. Cysts that have formed in the ovary, on the other hand, can be treated with hormone treatment. If the treatment does not work, the cyst is then often removed by laparoscopy.

Outlook & Forecast

Most cysts are harmless and regress on their own without ever causing discomfort. We are talking about real cysts, which differ from the so-called pseudocysts – these are also harmless, but anatomically different from a real cyst.

Problems can arise from the size of a cyst or the location. Large cysts, as well as those that sit in unfavorable places and press on other organs, can cause pain or lead to abnormalities such as changes in menstruation in the case of ovarian cysts. Depending on the severity of these symptoms, the doctor decides on treatment or leaves the cyst untouched until it heals on its own.

In rare cases, cysts can develop into cancer; there is then talk of degeneration. Strictly speaking, a cyst is already a tumor-like change, but it is initially benign in nature. This means that it does not spread and it has clear edges – so it could be easily removed surgically and in this form leads neither to organ damage nor to life-threatening risks for the patient. The risk increases with increasing frequency of cysts, because there are simply more possibilities for a degeneration of cells and the subsequent development of a malignant cancer.


Since a cyst usually forms due to heredity or hormonal changes, prophylaxis is not possible. Those who are already pre-loaded can prevent renewed cyst formation by taking prepared hormones.

However, since such hormone preparations also have side effects, the intake should be preceded by a detailed discussion with the attending physician regarding the benefits and risks of such prophylactic treatment.

Cysts that develop due to parasites such as tapeworms can be indirectly prevented. This includes not eating wild fruits in the forest unwashed, as the fox tapeworm can be absorbed into the human organism with the feces of the fox via the fruits (e.g. blueberries).

What you can do yourself

Home remedies are often the most effective remedy for cysts. Moist heat in particular has proven successful, for example in the form of a compress or a wrap that is simply placed on the cyst. If the cysts hurt, applications with tea tree oil or , are recommended. The latter kills the bacteria and thus contributes to rapid wound healing.

A balanced diet with sufficient whole grain products and vegetables is also recommended . Red clover or burdock supplements can also be taken to boost the immune system and speed up cyst healing. Cleanliness is also particularly important. The affected area should be cleaned daily with an antibacterial soap and then treated with a care product from the Pharmacy . In order to prevent further skin irritation, perfumes and similar cosmetic products should also be avoided.

By avoiding stress, the formation of cysts can be reduced. Those affected should also pay attention to sufficient exercise and sufficient bed rest. In some cases, sebaceous cysts can be pierced independently with a sterile needle. First, however, the growth should always be examined by the or a [[dermatologist] and treated if necessary to avoid complications.

Lisa Newlon
 | Website

Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.