Difference Between Cyst and Boil (With Table)

Skin infections should not be taken lightly. It can lead to some other problems. Infections like Cyst and Boil can lead to further problems if it is not treated properly. Taking home care can sometimes help, but for getting a fast and instant cure, you need to visit a dermatologist so that they can provide the proper treatment with their experience. 

Cyst vs Boil

The main difference between Cyst and Boil is that cysts will grow slowly and cannot spread from one person to another person. Boils can be spread from one person to another by contact because of the bacteria. The healing period of a cyst is 60 days, and one should visit a dermatologist. The healing period of a cyst will take lesser time which ranges from 1 to 3 weeks.

A cyst is caused because of the blockage in the duct. This blockage can be caused by trauma, inherited tendency, or infection. Cyst type will be identified based on the area that it is formed. Sometimes it can be formed inside the internal areas, or it can be formed in the external areas as well. It should be removed because it can be precancerous or noncancerous. The sooner people remove it, they can lead a healthy life. 

A boil is caused by a bacteria called Staphylococcus Aureus. It can be found in the skin and inside the nose. Boils cannot be caught by someone. If it is caused by a staph bacterium, then it can spread from person to person. So, it would be better if you covered it with some bandages. Squeezing the boil can lead to further infection. People should not disturb that area to stop it from spreading further. 

Comparison Table Between Cyst and Boil

Parameters of Comparison



Healing period

It will take 60 days to heal.

It will take 3 to 4 weeks.






Bump filled with pus


Physical therapy and fluid draining

Ointment and home remedies

Caused by

Bacterial or fungal infection

Swollen hair follicle

What is Cyst?

It is a noncancerous growth that is filled with semisolid substances or liquid. It can be formed in any part of your body. Sometimes, it can be formed under your skin as well. Before proceeding with the treatment, the dermatologist should identify the type of cyst, check whether it is infected or inflamed, find the location of the cyst, check whether the person has any pain or discomfort in that area. The cyst can be removed by a surgeon.

They will give general anaesthesia or sedation before proceeding with the removal process. Some of the options of healing cyst include draining, injecting medicine in that area to reduce the swelling and pain, removing it completely with minor surgery, and laser removal. Based on the growth and the pain, the doctor will proceed to any of the mentioned methods above. Usually, skin cysts will not hurt. But it can become tender and red.

Epidermoid cysts cannot go away naturally. Because if they go on their own, there are high chances that they will return. If they become inflamed or infected, they will start to pain in that area. Cysts are soft blisters. If you leave them untreated, it will create further problems. It is better to treat them at an earlier stage. If a person doesn’t treat them, it can last from months to years. Cyst removal can become minimally painful if you can handle the small sting of a shot. 

What is Boil?

It is a skin infection that occurs in a hair follicle or oil gland. It will be first seen as red and tender lumps. They first fill that area with pus, then they start to grow in that area. Later, it ruptures and drains. People can make go away with home remedies. You should apply warm compresses in the boil area and soak them in warm water. This will slowly decrease the pain and help the pus to draw from the surface. 

Once it starts draining, you need to wash the boil with an antibacterial soap. You need to do this continuously until all the pus has been removed. Then you should clean that area with rubbing alcohol. During this process, you should not poke with a needle. Boils are chronic skin diseases. The nodules in them can become painful and inflamed. Boils usually last for 1 to 3 weeks. For some people, it will not heal until it completely opens and drains.

This process can take up to a week. A lot of people have this on their skin without their knowledge. Once they get any cut in their skin, it will start to grow on their skin. Neosporin is one of the common ointments used for treating boils. You need to apply the ointment twice a day until the boil is completely gone. If you don’t apply any medication, then they can heal on their own, but it will create pain and irritation in that area. 

Main Differences Between Cyst and Boil

  1. A cyst can be divided into two types. On the other hand, Boil can be divided into five types.
  2. The time duration taken for a Cyst to heal will be 60 days. On the other hand, the time duration taken for a Boil to heal will be from 1 to 3 weeks.
  3. A cyst is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. On the other hand, the boil is caused because of swollen hair follicles.
  4. The symptoms of Cyst include bump. On the other hand, the symptoms of a boil include bumps with pus.
  5. Treatment for cyst includes physical therapy. On the other hand, treatment for boil includes ointment. 


Both cyst and boil occur in the skin. People first need to identify the difference between a cyst and a boil. Because both of them will look the same. And sometimes, people confuse them with one another. Understanding them before proceeding with the treatment will help in curing the disease faster. People should not take cysts lightly and should not prolong the treatment.

Because sometimes it can lead to cancerous growth. But boils can be treated with some home remedies. If it takes longer than usual, then visiting a dermatologist is mandatory. Because they are the ones who will know what kind of treatment will help in curing you. While taking home remedies, you should never poke that area with a needle to avoid it from spreading further. 


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1874778712000244
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1744-7348.1956.tb06843.x