Skin lumps or cysts are abnormal growths or bumps on the skin. They are mostly non-cancerous and harmless. Skin lumps are usually soft and do not cause much hindrance in your normal activities.

  • Lipoma (fat deposition)
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Benign or cancerous skin growths
  • Boils
  • Moles
  • Wart (viral infection of the skin)
  • Skin abscess (infected fluid that is trapped in a closed space)
  • Corn or callus (thickening of the skin due to continuous pressure)

A cyst is a fluid-filled sac found in or under the skin and lined with a layer of skin tissue. Skin cysts are usually smooth and grow slowly, and are painless until they get inflamed or rupture.

Skin lumps and cysts can be diagnosed with physical examination. Your doctor may also recommend a biopsy of the cyst to confirm the diagnosis and identify the underlying cause.

Skin lumps and cysts may or may not require treatment. Some may disappear with time. Cysts can be drained or treated with cortisone injection to shrink them. Cysts that may recur after treatment are removed surgically. Some skin lumps may be treated with medications such as antibiotics. Other skin lesions can be removed with lasers, electrocautery (burning the tissue), cryotherapy (frozen with liquid nitrogen), curettage or surgery.