10 Home Remedies for Sebaceous Cyst
A sebaceous cyst is a common, and in most cases non-cancerous cyst occurring on the face, neck, back and torso. Sebaceous cysts are not usually life-threatening, but they can become uncomfortable and have an impact on your quality of everyday life. Cysts are non-normal growths on the skin that contain liquid or a semi-liquid like substance under the surface.
Sebaceous cysts are diagnosed in the same way that other cysts are. Most doctors only need to do a physical examination and look at your medical history. Depending on the cyst, some will require a more thorough examination.
What causes a sebaceous cyst?
- A sebaceous cyst gets its name because it forms out of your sebaceous gland. This gland produces the oil that coats your hair and your skin
- A sebaceous cyst can occur because the gland/duct through which the oil travels to the surface of your skin becomes blocked. This blockage is most often caused by some sort of damage/trauma to that area. A trauma/damage can be a scratch, wound, skin condition, medical wound or even acne
- Naturally deformed duct
- Certain genetic conditions
What kind of symptoms occur because of a sebaceous cyst?
- Depending on the location of the cyst, it may cause discomfort or even pain, small cysts are rarely painful
- May cause feelings of pressure under the skin in the location of the cyst
- Tenderness in the area of the cyst
- Drainage of a foul smelling usually greyish material
When to see a doctor?
Just like with any cyst, there may be deeper problems and seeing a doctor to give it a good check is a wise thing to do. Since it’s not always easy to distinguish between different types of cysts unless you’re a doctor, don’t assume anything and get it checked by a medical professional, especially if your cyst has become red, inflamed or causes any pain.
Although it’s a good idea to get your cyst checked out by a medical professional, sebaceous cysts can be treated naturally and at home in most cases. Here are 10 home remedies for sebaceous cyst:
#1 – Heat This may seem a little counterintuitive, but using a hot compress is one of the most effective ways to drain and shrink a cyst. Heat helps reduce the viscosity of the liquid and it also helps drain some of that liquid back into the lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system’s job is to protect your body against infections.
Boil a pot of water to sterilize it and wait until the temperature of that water cools down just enough to be tolerable to apply to your skin. Soak a clean cloth in that water, ring it out so it doesn’t drip, and apply to the cyst for 20-30 minutes at a time.
#2 – Honey Honey contains a myriad of healthy compounds and has been used as a remedy for many ailments for centuries. Honey can help with cysts because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
All you have to do is apply the honey to your cysts, wrap it lightly in a bandage and leave on overnight. You can repeat this nightly until the cyst goes away.
#3 – Witch Hazel Witch hazel is often used to treat acne, but it can also help with a sebaceous cyst. Witch hazel contains anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, and this is what is thought to help shrink and eliminate the cysts.
All you have to do is dab a cotton pad or cotton ball in witch hazel and apply it to the area of your cyst. Witch hazel shouldn’t have any negative side effects, therefore you can repeat this several times per day until the cysts goes away.
#4 – Castor Oil Castor oil contains the compound ricinis communis and it’s thought that this compound can help shrink a sebaceous cyst by killing the bacteria that live inside it. Castor oil is known for its microbial properties and it’s often used to treat skin conditions like acne as well.
All you have to do is apply 100% castor oil to your cyst and apply a few times per day. Avoid ingesting castor oil orally.
#5 – Aloe vera Aloe vera is a very universal plant, and it helps with a variety of different skin conditions, including sebaceous cysts. Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory properties as well as anti-microbial properties. These can help with the pain and irritation cause by a cyst.
It’s best to use the natural gel directly from the aloe plant, but if that is not accessible to you, you may also use pure aloe gel. You can apply this to your cyst several times per day, or as needed to help relieve pain and irritation.
#6 – Apple cider vinegar Apple cider vinegar is all the rage in health food circles these days and it’s a well deserved. Not only is ACV healthy and helpful with a myriad of health conditions, it’s also effective in helping you get rid of your sebaceous cyst.
ACV is anti-microbial and can be applied several times per day to your cyst. It’s important to note that there are no current scientific studies backing up these claims, but there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence.
#7 – Tea tree oil Tea tree oil is an old remedy that works well fighting infections, and bacteria; Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties and this means that it’s an effective bacteria, fungi, pathogen and virus killer.
Tea tree oil is very potent and therefore it’s recommended that you dilute it in a carrier oil or warm water before applying it directly to your skin. This mixture may be applied directly to your cyst several times per day.
#8 – Turmeric Turmeric is another old home remedy that is an effective treatment for cysts due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Turmeric can be used to reduce inflammation and the level of infection in your cyst.
All you have to do is mix equal parts water and turmeric and mix until you have a uniform paste. Apply this past onto your cyst, wait for it to dry and then rinse off.
***It is important to note that turmeric is also a powerful dye and it will dye your skin a strong yellow colour. Only apply to the areas of your body that can be covered with clothing.***
#9 – Garlic Garlic is one of the oldest home remedies, and one of the few naturally occurring antibiotics. Garlic is anti-microbial, anti-fungal and it can also effectively kill the bacteria that are causing your cyst.
All you have to do is crush the garlic, heat it up in a frying pan mixed with about 100ml of cold pressed olive oil (make sure not to overheat and burn the olive oil). Heat lightly for about 5 minutes, cool down the mixture and strain it into a separate container. Apply this mixture onto your cyst and leave it on for up to 20 minutes. You can repeat this 3-4 times per day until your cyst is gone.
#10 – Epsom Salt Also known as magnesium sulfate, this compound helps reduce inflammation and can help dry out the cyst.
All you have to do is take a warm bath and add 1-2 full cups of epsom salt to your bath, You can repeat this every night until your cyst goes away.
Although there are some effective pharmaceutical options to help you get rid of your sebaceous cyst, it’s important to note that these may have some unneeded and unnecessary chemicals that you may not want to use on or in your body. Natural solutions may require a little more patience, but they are usually a much healthier option.
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Sebaceous Cyst References and Sebaceous Cyst Information
- May Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/epidermoid-cysts/symptoms-causes/syc-20352701
- Cleveland Clinic: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14165-sebaceous-cysts
- Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/cyst
- Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/home-remedies-for-cysts#hot-compress
- US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5424551/
- Science Direct: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2225411014000078
- Pub Med: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2145499/
- US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/
- Pub Med: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6366484/
- US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1584988/