Cyst: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 12/2/2019

Cysts are sac-like or capsular structures in the body that may be filled with semisolid material, gaseous material, or liquid. Cysts can occur almost anywhere in the body.

Signs and symptoms of a cyst depend both on its size and its location within the body. Cysts in internal organs may not cause symptoms or signs. Cysts in the skin or beneath the skin may cause a raised lump or bump. In some cases, a cyst may cause pain at the involved site.

Causes of cysts

Cysts can develop due to genetic (inherited) conditions that cause defects in developing organs in the embryo, infections, wear and tear, obstruction to the flow of body fluids, chronic inflammatory conditions, or other causes. In rare cases, cysts are associated with benign or malignant tumors.

Other cyst symptoms and signs

  • Pain at the Site of the Cyst
  • Raised Bump or Lump


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.