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Difference Between Cyst and Abscess

abscess vs cyst

What is the Difference Between an Abscess and a Cyst?

What is a cyst?

A cyst is a capsule-like pocket or lump surrounded by abnormal cells which is mostly painless. If cyst left untreated can get infected to form an abscess.

What is an Abscess?

An abscess is pus-filled infection. It is often painful. It forms on its own because of a bacterial infection.

Cyst vs Abscess

Cyst is when abnormal cells begin to grow around the outer layer of the sac. It can be a hollow, hard lump, or even be filled with fluid. They are of varied types and sizes.

An abscess is usually a pus-filled cavity that occurs through various organisms, bacteria, fungi. It can appear on the skin, under the skin, or deep in the organs.

Types of Cysts

Common cyst types include:

1. Sebaceous & Epidermoid:

It is a lump beneath the skin caused by blocked glands in the skin. This type of cyst can be found anywhere on the body.

2. Lipoma:

It is a swelling that contains fat. It can occur to anybody on the body except at palms and soles. It can be left untreated. It is mostly of unknown origin.

3. Ovarian Cyst:

Common in females who have regular menstrual periods these cysts form during ovulation and also disappear on their own. A majority of ovarian cysts are benign. However, when multiple ovarian cysts develop it is known as Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome commonly called PCOS.

4. Breast Cyst:

Breast cysts are common in females of younger age and can form during the menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle can cause change in size and disappearance of breast cyst. Some may be painful and can cause discomfort. Certain complex cysts may turn cancerous or increase the risk of breast cancer in future.

Other types of cysts include Ganglion, Pilar, Dermoid, Mucous, Baker’s, etc.

Causes of Cysts and Abscesses

  • Genetic conditions such as a defect in an organ of a growing embryo in the womb
  • Long-term inflammatory conditions
  • Parasitic infection
  • Blockages in the sebaceous glands, or due to tattoos or skin piercings
  • Defects in the cells
  • An injury that breaks a cell
  • Tumor
  • Unknown origin

Cyst Treatments

The modes of treatment for a cyst and an abscess differ.

  • The majority of cysts do not require specific treatment. Only when a cyst becomes enlarged, filled with fluid, or is painful, it may require intervention. Large cysts are surgically removed.
  • Depending on where it is located, the cyst can be drained or aspirated by inserting a needle or a catheter into it. If it is cancerous, it is surgically removed. 
  • Ovarian cysts are removed through the laparoscopic or key-hole surgery method performed under general anesthesia.

Cyst removal treatment at Fortis Hospital is one of the safest and most effective in Mumbai under the skilled care of specialists who are skilled in the latest methods.

Cysts & Abscesses Prevention Tips

Simple hygiene and personal grooming can prevent cysts and abscesses.

  • Wash hands regularly 
  • Keep skin all over the body clean and dry 
  • Avoid sharing personal things such as clothes, footwear, toothbrush, and grooming equipment like razors and cosmetics
  • Clean wounds with antiseptic lotion, apply an antibacterial solution and cover them to prevent infection

When to Consult a Specialist?

If you have any of these symptoms, you need to see a doctor immediately:


  • Red streaks develop around the cyst or infected region of the skin
  • The abscess becomes redder, bigger in size, and more painful
  • Foul smelling pus oozes from the cyst 
  • Unexplained pain or discomfort inside the body
  • Fever of 101 deg F or higher accompanied by chills 

Cyst Removal Treatment in Mumbai

Fortis Hospital has the best team of skilled doctors trained and experienced in cyst removal treatment in Mumbai in the shortest time as a simple day procedure. Cysts can form anywhere in the body, externally or inside, Fortis Mumbai uses advanced imaging technology to scan the minutest of cysts in the deepest regions of the organs including the ovaries, kidneys, anal canal, rectum, lungs and the lower abdominal region.

If the cyst causes excessive pain, discomfort, and affects normal functions, the doctors at Fortis Mumbai use painless, scarless keyhole laparoscopy to remove it under general anesthesia. An Abscess is drained through the incision. Antibiotics are prescribed to prevent future infections. Cyst removal treatment at Fortis Mumbai is quick, safe, effective, and affordable.

Fortis Hospital Mulund, Mumbai

Address: Mulund Goregaon Link Road, Mulund-West, Mumbai, 400078

Ph. 022 4925 4925