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What are skin cysts?

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Quick Answer

Skins cysts are closed pockets of tissue that can be filled with pus, fluid or other matter, according to WebMD. They are non-cancerous, can appear anywhere on the body and can feel like large peas under the surface of the skin.

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Full Answer

Skin cysts develop from infection, foreign objects such as earrings, and clogging of sebaceous glands, notes WebMD. Skin cysts can appear under or on top of the skin. They are painless, slow growing and smooth to the touch when rolled under the skin. Most cysts disappear without treatment. If a cyst ruptures or becomes infected or inflamed, it can be painful. Some cysts need to be drained, which involves piercing the skin and then draining out the pus or infection.

An injection of cortisone may be required to shrink the cyst, explains WebMD. When usual treatments fail to clear the condition and cysts continue to reoccur, they can be surgically removed. Other causes for skin cysts include cherry angiomas and dermatofibromas. Cherry angiomas are small red growths on the skin. Dermatofibromas are generally found on legs and arms and are red-brownish in color and feel like hard lumps under the skin. In most cases, it isn't necessary to treat dermatofibromas or cherry angioma.

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