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Everybody has experienced swelling of skin at some point in life. But what if that swelling doesn't go away? These may be known as lumps or cysts that are abnormally raised on the skin. These lumps feel either hard and firm, or soft and moveable to touch. Swelling due to injury is one of the common forms of lumps. Most of the time, these lumps are benign, which means that they’re not malignant. The lumps that most people have are non-cancerous, and are growths out of fatty tissues that gradually develop under the skin. The reason behind these lumps under your skin may be predominantly due to infections, hormonal imbalances or clogged glands. It’s important that you refrain from removing or popping the lump or a cyst. If you do so, it may lead to infections or make them bigger.

Whether a lump or cyst requires treatment is completely based on the following:

  • the kind of cyst or lump
  • Where the cyst or lump is located
  • Whether they cause any excruciating pain or discomfort
  • if they are infected or inflamed

Doctors usually recommend eliminating them by conducting a minor surgical excision to remove the entire cyst wall, because this method generally prevents them from returning back. Although there are other treatments like medication or laser, surgery is the only way to keep them from returning back. If the cyst or lump remains untreated, they can cause quite some serious complications like infections that may be filled with bacteria and pus, and become an abscess. If this abscess explodes inside the body, it can cause a risk of blood poisoning called septicaemia.


Skin lumps or cysts are commonly found on the chest, neck, shoulders, genital area or can even form as leg swelling, facial swelling, or hand swelling. They mostly affect the teen and middle-aged individuals who particularly have acne. This condition does not usually appear to be hereditary. Lumps or cysts can be caused due to various reasons, which impacts the way they look or feel. Here are some of the signs and symptoms that define a lump or a cyst;

  • Feels squishy, mushy, and soft
  • Can either be moved or stays rigid 
  • Sometimes feels hard and firm
  • Grows gradually over time
  • Can look red and inflamed
  • Can either cause pain or no pain
  • Has a central pore 
  • Appears evidently under the skin 
  • Has an irregular shape


Few cells that are on the top layer of skin produce a substance called keratin - a protein element that is responsible for the skin's flexibility and strength. Usually, as these cells begin to die and shed, they start moving up towards the skin’s surface. However, at times the cells go deeper into the skin and form a sac by multiplying. This secretes keratin right in the middle of the sac, forming a thick, yellow paste. This fluid may ooze out of the cyst or lump if it explodes. Lumps can also be caused due to various health conditions that may or may not be severe. Some of the common causes include;

  • injury
  • acne
  • A benign tumour of fat that develops into the skin’s fat layer that can appear anywhere on the body, called lipoma
  • warts
  • Infection, like boils or abscesses 
  • Growths that look like flesh colour on skin’s surface called skin tags that often appear in places where skin may rub together, like armpit or inner thighs
  • Sebaceous cysts that appear often in areas of surgical wound, scratch or acne
  • Corns
  • Hormonal changes
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • Illnesses, like chicken pox or mumps

Treatment options 

There is no home remedy for lumps, however, a warm compress on a cyst can lessen inflammation and ease soreness. Whether the lumps are painful or not, if you have leg swelling, facial swelling, or hand swelling, it's best to consult with a doctor and get them treated at the earliest. Given below are some of the best treatment options on how to get rid of swelling that causes these lumps of cysts;

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