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A cyst is generally a benign mass that is filled with fluid or semi-fluid. They are generally not harmful, depending on their location, but they can become irritated and sore, or interfere with natural function if they are in or pressing on a vital body part. An abcess is similar to a cyst, but tends to be tender and is filled with pus, which is the result of an infectious process. They can be large or small, and some may resolve on their own, but they can cause a lot of pain, especially if they are near nerves or major organs.

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15y ago
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12y ago
Abscess or infection?It depends what part of the body it is you are talking about. Search for NHS24 and go through the menu - it will give you symptoms and treatments x
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14y ago

An abscess is a localized infection caused by bacteria and the immune system attempting to fight the infection. An acne pimple is an example of a small abscess.

A cyst is a closed, bladder-like sac formed in tissues, containing fluid or semi-fluid matter. Cysts can be the result of many things, depending on where they are formed and which tissues and organs are involved. Cysts can result from bacterial infection, trauma, scar tissue formation, or cancer. Some cysts are completely harmless and require no treatment, while others can be quite dangerous and life-threatening.

A cyst cannot always be differentiated from an abscess simply by observation, especially if it is discovered by radiograph inside the body. Sometimes a procedure called a biopsy needs to be performed to make the correct diagnosis.

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Q: What is the difference between an abscess and a cyst?
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