As with any lump or bump, it can be difficult to diagnose exactly what it is at first glance. If you are uncertain, it is important to seek professional, medical advice.
What’s the Difference Between a Lipoma and Cyst?
A lipoma is a benign lump of fat that sits underneath the skin. A lipoma usually feels quite soft and rarely gets infected. It is generally no more than an unsightly bump; however, it can sometimes cause pressure problems and become painful, which could mean it needs to be removed.
A cyst is a fluid-filled lump that also sits just underneath the skin. It is usually harmless but will slowly get bigger. While it may go away eventually by itself, it can be sore and filled with pus if it becomes infected. If this happens, you may find yourself needing antibiotics alongside the surgical removal of the cyst.
Five possible causes:
There can be many reasons why you may develop a lump or bump under the surface of your skin. Although much rarer in children, they can appear at any age, on any part of the body, and are most commonly seen on people between the ages of 40 and 60. They are often found on the neck, back and shoulders, but can also develop on the arms, abdomen and thighs.
2. Family history
The exact cause remains unknown; however, they are believed to be hereditary. If you have a family history of lumps and bumps, the chances are that you could develop them.
Whenever we get injured, our body sets about repairing itself as best as it can. This could be healing wounds, fixing bones, or fighting disease and infection. It is unclear whether injuries may be a cause or simply reveal those already there; however, as they are often noticed after injuries, there is thought to be a possible link.
4. Other medical conditions
There are a few known conditions that can cause multiple lipomas to form over the body. These include familial multiple lipomatosis, adiposis dolorosa, Gardner syndrome, Cowden syndrome and Madelung’s disease. Although the vast majority are harmless and would need to be removed only for aesthetic reasons, they should always be checked by a medical professional to ensure a correct diagnosis – as should the discovery of any lump.
5. Duct blockages
In addition to inherited diseases, chronic inflammation or infection, cysts are likely to form when oil ducts or hair follicles become blocked. To reduce this risk, it is advisable to keep your skin as clean as possible.
Thankfully, whatever the cause of your unwanted lumps and bumps, they are usually harmless and can be easily removed if you wish for aesthetic reasons. Simple excision techniques with minimal pain and scarring may be all that is required to leave you lump-free.