Cysts are sac-like structures that contain fluid, pus, or gas in the skin. Cysts can appear anywhere on the body, including the scrotum, and are relatively common. Scrotal cysts, fortunately, are rarely a cause for alarm.
The majority of scrotal cysts are non-cancerous and do not need treatment. It is important, however, that people can recognise any lumps on their scrotum or testicles.
Any of the causes of a scrotal lump may be more severe and necessitate treatment. If a person is unable to determine the cause of a scrotal lump at home, they should seek medical advice.
In this post, we’ll look at scrotal cysts, how to identify them, and what treatment options are available.
What is it?
A scrotal cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on or within the scrotum. The scrotum is a bag of skin that hangs under the penis and is a part of the male reproductive system. It contains and protects the testicles, as well as keeping them at the proper temperature for sperm production.
The epididymis is also found in the scrotum, in addition to the testes. The epididymis is a sperm-storage tube that connects each of the testicles.
Fluid-filled cysts on the scrotum are fairly common, though they tend to affect older men more frequently.
Although most scrotal cysts are treatable and not life-threatening, they aren’t the only cause of a scrotal lump. If there are some lumps or odd signs around the scrotum, people should see their doctor.
Types and causes
A scrotal cyst would most likely be either an epididymal or a sebaceous cyst.
Epididymal cysts are also known as spermatoceles or spermatic cysts by some people. However, these words vary slightly since spermatoceles produce sperm cells in addition to fluid.
An epididymal cyst is a fluid-filled swelling that forms in the epididymis when fluid cannot drain due to an obstruction. They are one of the more common conditions that develop inside the scrotum. They can vary in size and are usually painless.
Sebaceous cysts can develop anywhere on the body, including the scrotum. Epidermoid cysts are a term used by some to describe these cysts. They are slightly different, but both can occur on the scrotum. Epidermoid cysts contain a more solid substance than sebaceous cysts, which contain a clear, oily liquid.
Sebaceous cysts form when a sebaceous gland is blocked or damaged. Similarly, epidermoid cysts can form when a hair follicle is inflamed.
Other causes of scrotal lumps
A lump on the scrotum may be caused by a variety of things in addition to cysts. This may involve the following:
- inguinal hernia
- testicular torsion
- testicular cancer
The majority of people with scrotal cysts have no symptoms. People can, however, encounter the following:
- a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum or testicles
- a dull pain, ache, or discomfort, but not sharp pain
- swelling around the scrotum
- a lump on or inside the scrotum, which can vary in size
It’s also likely that a cyst will become infected, causing more discomfort. Some cysts can rupture and release pus.
If people have extreme and sudden pain in their testicles, it may be a symptom of something more serious that necessitates medical attention right away.
How to Recognize a Cyst
Following a testicular self-exam, a person may be able to detect a scrotal cyst. A health care worker should demonstrate proper technique. On top of the testicle or on the scrotum, a cyst can appear and feel like a pea-sized lump. An individual may be able to shine a light through a scrotal cyst in certain cases.
Any of the symptoms of a scrotal cyst may be confused with those of other, more severe causes of a lump. An individual should see a doctor if they notice something odd or suspicious, such as a larger size or unusual firmness.
Following a physical examination, a doctor may have a more precise diagnosis. They can also use tests to confirm whether it is a cyst, such as an ultrasound, which is simple, noninvasive, and inexpensive.
A doctor may advise against treatment if the scrotal cyst is small and not causing any pain or interfering with daily activities. A doctor can recommend the following if the cyst is bothersome in size or causes pain:
Although there is no particular treatment that can treat or prevent scrotal cysts, pain relievers including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help.
Minimally invasive therapies
An aspiration or sclerotherapy may be recommended by a doctor. The cyst is punctured and the contents are drained, or the cyst is injected with an agent that allows it to heal.
Although these options may be effective, doctors rarely use them. This is because there’s a chance the epididymis may be damaged, and the cysts may reappear after treatment.
A doctor would most likely recommend surgical removal if the cyst is causing complications. The cyst will normally be removed by a small incision on the scrotum by the doctor. This outpatient procedure is often performed under local or general anaesthesia by a doctor.
If the scrotal cyst is small and not causing any irritation, it may be possible to treat it at home with over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and swelling. People should, however, first see their doctor for a proper diagnosis and then follow their advice.
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent a scrotum cyst from developing. People should, however, conduct a testicular self-exam on a regular basis to check for anomalies and detect something odd early. People will be able to recognise a cyst or something more severe in their testicles and receive adequate care if they become acquainted with them.
A testicular exam should be performed on a monthly basis. To conduct a testicular self-examination, follow these steps:
- perform the exam after a bath or shower, when the scrotum is warm
- stand in front of a mirror
- check for any swelling on the skin
- examine each testicle by rolling them between the thumbs and fingers
- find the epididymis, behind the testicles, and check for any lumps
People can visit their doctor for a checkup if they find anything wrong.
A scrotal cyst is a fluid-filled lump that can be found on or within the scrotum. They’re fairly normal, generally harmless, and don’t usually necessitate treatment. However, in some cases, the cyst will need to be surgically removed.
During a testicular self-examination, people will look for scrotal cysts. People should see a doctor if they find something strange or experience pain when doing a self-check.
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- Testicular self-examination. (2020).