Can cysts be itchy?

Understanding Cysts and Itching

Many people experience itching in their bodies from time to time. It can be caused by allergies, skin conditions, bites, or infections. The sensation of itching can be annoying, uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful. For those with cysts, the question arises, can cysts be itchy?

Cysts are sac-like structures that are filled with fluid or semi-solid material. They can develop in any part of the body, including the skin, liver, kidneys, ovaries, and breasts. Cysts can be benign or cancerous, and their symptoms vary. Some cysts are asymptomatic and do not cause any problems, while others can lead to pain, swelling, fever, and other complications.

The Causes of Itching in Cysts

Cysts can cause itching for several reasons, including:


Cysts that are inflamed can trigger itching, redness, warmth, and tenderness in the surrounding skin. When the body responds to inflammation, it sends blood and immune cells to fight the irritants or infections in the skin. This can cause a release of histamine, a chemical that triggers itching.


Some cysts can grow to be large and put pressure on the skin, nerves, or blood vessels nearby. This pressure can cause itching, pain, tingling, and numbness. Cysts that develop in the inner ear or sinuses can cause dizziness or headaches that are accompanied by itching or ringing in the ears.

Infected Cysts

Cysts that become infected can cause itching, redness, swelling, and discharge from the site. The bacteria, viruses, or fungi that cause infections can irritate the skin and trigger inflammation and itching as the body fights back. The immune cells that attack the germs in the cysts can also cause itching and discomfort.

Symptoms of Itching in Cysts

The symptoms of itching in cysts vary depending on the location, size, and cause of the cyst. Some common signs include:

Redness and Swelling

Itchy cysts can be red, swollen, and tender to the touch. The inflammation and fluid buildup in the cysts can cause the surrounding skin to become irritated and itchy.

Bumps or Lumps

Cysts that are visible on the skin can appear as small bumps or lumps that may be itchy to the touch. In some cases, the itching can be accompanied by pain, numbness, or tingling.


Infected cysts can ooze pus or other fluids that can cause itching and discomfort. The odor and appearance of the discharge may vary depending on the type of infection and the location of the cysts.

Treating Itchy Cysts

If you are experiencing itching from cysts, there are several treatment options available, including:

Hot and Cold Compresses

Applying hot or cold compresses to the affected area can help relieve itching, inflammation, and pain from cysts. Use a clean cloth or towel and apply heat or cold for 10-15 minutes at a time, several times a day.

Over-the-Counter Medications

You can use antihistamines, pain relievers, and anti-inflammatory medications to relieve itching and discomfort from cysts. Be sure to follow the recommended dosages and talk to your doctor before taking any medication.

Drainage or Surgery

If your cysts are infected, painful, or large, your doctor may recommend drainage or surgery to remove the cysts. This can relieve pressure and prevent further complications like scarring or infection.

Preventing Itchy Cysts

You can take steps to prevent cysts from occurring or becoming itchy by:

Keeping the Skin Clean and Dry

Cleanse your skin regularly with soap and water, and dry it thoroughly to prevent oil, bacteria, and sweat buildup that can cause cysts or infections.

Avoiding Tight Clothing and Accessories

Tight clothing, jewelry, and accessories can trap sweat and irritants in the skin, causing friction, pressure, and itchiness. Wear loose-fitting and breathable clothes and accessories to prevent cysts from forming or worsening.

Protecting Your Skin from Injuries and Infections

Avoiding injuries and infections can reduce the risk of cysts and itching. Use protective gear when playing sports, working with tools or chemicals, or being exposed to sunlight, and practice good hygiene to prevent infections.

The Bottom Line

Cysts can be itchy for various reasons, including inflammation, pressure, and infection. Knowing the symptoms and causes of itching in cysts can help you seek appropriate medical attention and treatment. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions and take preventive measures to reduce your risk of developing cysts or experiencing itching.

Common Questions and Answers

  • Q: Can cysts on the scalp be itchy?
  • A: Yes, scalp cysts can be itchy, especially if they are inflamed, infected, or putting pressure on the scalp or nerves. Itching can also occur as the hair grows or rubs against the cysts.
  • Q: Can ovarian cysts be itchy?
  • A: Yes, ovarian cysts can cause itching, as well as pain, bloating, irregular periods, and other symptoms. Ovarian cysts are more common in women of childbearing age and may require medical treatment if they get large or cause complications.
  • Q: Can breast cysts be itchy?
  • A: Yes, breast cysts can be itchy, especially if they are large, infected, or near the surface of the skin. Breast cysts can also cause pain, swelling, and discharge from the nipple. Women should have regular breast exams and follow their doctor’s recommendations for breast health.