The key difference between ganglion cyst and RA nodule is that a ganglion cyst is a small, soft, fluid-filled lump that occurs under the skin and is not associated with any medical condition, while an RA nodule is a large, firm lump that occurs under the skin and is usually associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
There are different skin conditions that can cause lumps and bumps to appear on the surface or just below the skin, such as ganglion cysts, RA nodules, cherry angioma, dermatofibromas, folliculitis, keratoacanthoma, keratosis pilaris, lipomas, and neurofibromas.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is a Ganglion Cyst
3. What is a RA Nodule
4. Similarities – Ganglion Cyst and RA Nodule
5. Ganglion Cyst vs RA Nodule in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Ganglion Cyst vs RA Nodule
What is a Ganglion Cyst?
A ganglion cyst is a non-cancerous lump that develops along the tendons or joints of the wrists or hands. Approximately 80 % of ganglion cysts are found in the wrists. The shape of the ganglion cyst is round or oval, and it is filled with a jelly-like fluid. This jelly-like material is thick, sticky, clear, and colourless. A ganglion cyst can be pea-sized. But larger ones can be around an inch (2.5cm). The location of a ganglion cyst can sometimes interfere with joint movements. No one knows the exact cause of a ganglion cyst. The risk factors for this condition include sex and age (women between ages 20 to 40), osteoarthritis, and joint or tendon injury. Ganglion cysts are normally painless. But if a cyst presses on a nerve, it causes pain, tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness.
Ganglion cysts can be diagnosed through physical examination, X-ray, ultrasound, and MRI. Furthermore, treatment options for ganglion cysts include immobilization, aspiration surgery, lifestyle, and home remedies (over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen, modifying shoes and how to lace them).
What is a RA Nodule?
RA nodule is a firm lump under the skin. It tends to form closer to joints in people who are affected by rheumatoid arthritis. RA nodule is harmless. However, the infected nodule needs medical attention. The RA nodule consists of fibrin, inflammatory cells, and dead skin cells. The most common locations for rheumatoid nodules are hands, fingers, knuckles, and elbows. The less common places include vocal cords, lungs, heart and other organs, heel, Achilles tendon, back of the head, hip, and tailbone. The causes of rheumatoid nodules include rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies that cause inflammation) and smoking. The risk factors may include methotrexate or other arthritis drugs, smoking, genetics, sustaining an injury near a pressure point, and having severe rheumatoid arthritis.
Moreover, RA nodule is diagnosed through medical history and physical examination. Furthermore, it can be treated with DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs), steroids, pain relievers, physical therapy, and surgery.
What are the Similarities Between Ganglion Cyst and RA Nodule?
- Ganglion cysts and RA nodules are two skin conditions that cause lumps under the skin.
- Both occur near joints.
- Both are present in common places like wrists, ankles, hands, etc.
- They are harmless skin conditions.
- They can be treated through specific therapies and surgeries.
What is the Difference Between Ganglion Cyst and RA Nodule?
A ganglion cyst is a small, soft, fluid-filled lump that occurs under the skin and is not associated with any medical condition, while an RA nodule is a large, firm lump that occurs under the skin and is usually associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, this is the key difference between ganglion cyst and RA nodule. Furthermore, ganglion cysts consist of jelly-like material which is thick, sticky, clear, and colorless, while RA nodules consist of fibrin, inflammatory cells, and dead skin cells.
The below infographic presents the differences between ganglion cyst and RA nodule in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Ganglion Cyst vs RA Nodule
Ganglion cysts and RA nodules are two skin conditions. They cause lumps and bumps to appear on the surface or just below the skin. These conditions are usually harmless. A ganglion cyst is a small, soft, fluid-filled lump that is not associated with any medical condition. In contrast, an RA nodule is a large, firm lump that is usually associated with rheumatoid arthritis. So, this is the key difference between Ganglion cyst and RA nodule.
1. “Rheumatoid Nodules: Symptoms, Causes, and Pictures.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International.
2. “Ganglion Cyst Symptoms and Treatments.” Symptoms & Treatments – Illnesses & Conditions | NHS Inform.
1. “Ganglion Cyst” By Glenn Malone (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) via Flick
2. “Rheumatoid nodule – intermed mag 2” By Nephron – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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