Last month, the day after a few hours planting daffodil bulbs, I looked down at my left hand and saw what looked like two wrist (pisiform) bones. The second one was actually a bump about an inch from the actual pisiform bone. It just appeared over night!
It is about 1/2 inch in diameter, and feels like hard, yet pliable plastic. Since I had a smaller bump appear suddenly a few years ago, and had already consulted with my doctor about it, I haven't been too concerned with it.
What are these sudden lumps?
These are called ganglion cysts, according to my doctor and WebMd. They are lumps filled with jelly like fluid.
What causes these to appear?
"It's not clear what causes a ganglion cyst to develop. It grows out of a joint or the lining of a tendon, looking like a tiny water balloon on a stalk, and seems to occur when the tissue that surrounds a joint or a tendon bulges out of place. Inside the cyst is a thick lubricating fluid similar to that found in joints or around tendons."
The site goes on to say that they most commonly occur in women. At least they didn't attribute these to age! But they did say that folks with osteoarthritis tend to develop more of them.
My doctor also confirmed that the causes are obscure.
Are they dangerous?
Although you should have your doctor check the lump out, most of them are not cancerous and don't really cause problems. However, if they cause you pain you probably should seek treatment - which typically involves removal.
How do you get rid of them?
Obviously, it is a little unsettling to find extra bumps and lumps on your skin, so how do you deal with them?
Some articles claim that the lump can just go away on its own, and indeed, my first one did. Others (and my doctor) suggest that you have to take action to remove them.
Two kinds of action are mentioned: surgery or excision. With surgery, you may have a scar and there is no guarantee that the cyst will stay gone. With excision, a needle sucks out the fluid. Excised cysts are said to come back more often than those that are surgically removed.
What am I doing with mine?
Well, I'll show it to my doctor at my next annual physical in a few months. Since I'm already old and bumpy, I'll probably just leave it unless the doc gets excited about it. The lump isn't pretty, but it also doesn't bother me.