Sebaceous cysts (size of ¼ inch – 2 inches in diameter) are the small, non-cancerous, protuberance on the skin. They are often painless, and their size may vary from ¼ inch to 2 inches. These are characterized by bulging lump with redness around the affected area. A sac of cells is created and it secretes keratin (a protein) (1). Cysts normally occur on the parts of the body where there is a lot of sebum production, like face, neck, shoulders or chest. (Cysts that appear on the wrist joint are different in nature and treatment and are known as ganglion cysts.) Cysts usually occur due to a damaged hair follicle and hyperactive oil glands (2). Blocking of sebaceous glands, excessive production of testosterone in males, increased production of sweat, excessive exposure to the sun (3), waxing and shaving are some of the contributing factors to this problem. These may occur to the person of any age. Draining the liquid out of the cyst or lancing can be a way to get rid of the sebaceous cyst, but it increases the risk of spread of infection. Here we have listed some of the home remedies to ease this skin ailment in a natural manner.
Natural Remedies for Sebaceous Cyst Removal
1. Warm Compress / Heating Pad
Dip a clean washcloth in hot water. Wriggle it to remove the extra water. Put it over the cyst for 5-10 minutes. Repeat the procedure 3-4 times a day. It will speed up the healing process and improve the blood circulation. Or else, you can also make use of the heating pad in place of a warm compress (4, 5).
Note: Apply medium heat to the cyst as too much heat might generate more infection causing bacteria.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Directly apply some apple cider vinegar over the cyst and cover it with a bandage. Change this bandage daily. It must be done for at least a week, until a hard layer appears over the cyst. Gently remove this layer of the skin to drain out the contents of the cyst. Clean this with the help of a dry washcloth. If applied regularly, you will find the new skin growing within 3-4 days.
3. Castor Oil
Dip a cotton swab in castor oil and apply it directly over the cyst. Then take a hot water bag and put it over the cotton swab. The heat of the water and castor oil will decrease the size of the cyst.
Alternatively, castor oil with pinch of baking soda when applied on cyst, dissolves the cyst because its fatty acid content is easily absorbed by skin (8).
Honey is an organic product has therapeutic effects, that is why it is a very useful cure for Sebaceous Cyst (9).
Mix some wheatgrass and banana (plantain) in a blender and add some honey to this mixture. Apply this paste on the cyst. Cover it with a clean washcloth and leave it overnight. The anti oxidant properties of wheatgrass and banana speed up the healing process of cyst by enhancing the immune system (10, 11).
- Alternatively, mix 3 tbsp of honey in 1 tbsp of cinnamon powder. Apply this paste over the cyst. The medicinal properties of cinnamon proves useful to get rid of sebaceous cyst (12).
- Or else, you can mix one egg white along with 1 tbsp of honey and spread it on the affected area.
Turmeric is a natural healing agent which can break the cyst and bring back the affected area into normal state (13). This herb can also be used to make poultices for getting relief from pain and inflammation caused due to cyst (14).
Boil ½ tbsp of turmeric with 1 cup of water. Allow it to cool and drink this every night. Repeat this remedy for ten days.
- Alternatively, mix some mint juice and turmeric powder to make a paste. Apply this juice over the cyst and keep it for 15-20 minutes before washing it off with water.
- Or else, you can make a paste of turmeric, water and honey.
- You can also mix some honey, lemon juice, and turmeric powder.
6. Potassium Iodide
Apply some potassium iodide directly over the affected area. It helps heal the skin infection faster because of its anti inflammatory properties (15). Iodide is an excellent antiseptic and disinfectant which destroys bacteria causing cyst (16).
Boil some cabbage leaves in water and apply it over the cyst. Cover it with a clean, dry washcloth. It is a very effective remedy for getting rid of the cyst.
8. Tea Bags
Tea bags have anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore it proves beneficial to get rid from sebaceous cyst (17). Soak a tea bag in some milk and keep it over the cyst overnight. Wrap a cloth around it to keep it in place. Remove it in the morning. Regular application of this remedy will cause the cyst to reduce in size and heal soon.
9. Clay Tablet
Clay tablets remove the impurities of the digestive system, subsequently clearing the skin and removing the cyst.
10. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver reduces the inflammation and improves the functioning of the immune system. It is very useful for skin problems (18). Either apply it directly or use an ointment containing colloidal silver. It stimulates the flow of lymphatic fluids and heals the sebaceous cysts quickly (19).
11. Bee Pollen
Consume 1-2 tbsp of bee pollen or take pills containing bee pollen. It acts as a natural blood purifier and is an effective treatment for skin problems, like acne and sebaceous cysts. The adaptogenic effect of pollen strengthens immune system of the body against various infections, thus it fastens healing process of cyst (20).
12. Baking Soda
Mix some baking soda, water, and salt to form a smooth paste. Spread this paste on the cyst. It is one of the most popular treatments for treating cysts. Baking soda has properties that help maintaining the pH level of the skin, and thus keeps bacterial growth under control, providing relief from itching and burning too (21).
Potato contains Vitamin C in large amount and this vitamin is responsible for removing dead skin cells and hence curing sebaceous cysts (22). Place a potato slice over the cyst and cover it with a dry washcloth. Leave it overnight.
- Alternatively, you can also apply potato juice over the cyst with the help of a cotton swab and leave it overnight. It will decrease the size of the cyst quickly.
14. Sandalwood and Rose Water
Sandalwood powder has anti fungal properties which accelerates healing of the sebaceous cyst (23). Apply a paste of sandalwood and rose water over the cyst. Allow it to dry and then wash off with cold water. Do this 3-4 times a day. It will soothe the inflammation caused due to the sebaceous cyst.
15. Lime Powder
Mix, some lime powder with water, to make a smooth paste. Apply this directly to the cyst. It can lead to some irritation, but is an extremely effective remedy to treat inflammation.
16. Epsom Salt
Fill your bathtub with warm water and add about half cup of Epsom salt to it. Bathe with this water to get relief from the pain caused by sebaceous cysts. This remedy might not exactly assist in removing the sebaceous cyst, however, epsom salt contains magnesium and sulfate, which may help in subsiding the pain, reducing inflammation and flushing the harmful toxins (24).
Herbal Remedies for Sebaceous Cyst Removal
17. Tea Tree Oil
The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of tea tree oil make it effective enough to fight with bacterial and fungal infections (25). Mix tea tree oil or carrier oil in water in 1:9 ratios and apply it directly to the cyst.
- Alternatively, you can even apply 2-3 drops of tea tree oil directly over the cyst and cover it with a band-aid.
18. Milk Thistle
This herb is effective in cleansing the body from within and stops the formation of toxins in the body. Many scientific studies have proved that milk thistle contains a flavonoid called silymarin that possess anti inflammatory and anti oxidant properties. (26, 27). You can consume it in the form of tea or capsule, to get rid of sebaceous cysts.
Note: Pregnant and breast feeding women must consult doctor before using milk thistle.
19. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera contains phenolic compounds (28), which possess antibiotic properties, that is why aloe vera is a popular remedy to cure sebaceous cysts (29). Squeeze some juice from the aloe vera leaf and apply it directly over the cyst. Repeat this process several times a day for a few days till the cyst goes away completely.
- Alternatively, drink aloe vera juice regularly to get rid of the cyst fast.
20. Witch Hazel
Alternatively, you can also apply witch hazel gel or cream over the cyst. Use it 2-3 times a day for about a week, until the infection is removed completely (31).
21. Dandelion and Viola
Dandelion is antimicrobial in nature so it will fight the infection, removing toxins from the body (32, 33). An experiment was performed to find out the antimicrobial activity of decoction, infusion and ethanol extract and fractions of Viola herb. Three of them were found to have considerable anti microbial properties (34, 35).
Take 1 tbsp of dandelion and viola and steep them in water for 45 minutes. Strain this mixture and drink this solution 3-4 times a day for 8-10 days. You can also use this mixture to wash cyst.
22. Guava Leaves
Guava leaves have anti microbial properties which promote quick healing of cyst, and reduce the inflammation and itching (36, 37). Boil some guava leaves in water for 15 minutes and then strain it. Use the solution to wash the cyst.
Steep some leaves of Echinacea in a cup of water for 10 minutes and strain the mixture. Let it cool and then sip this tea 2-3 times daily. It will increase the white blood cells and boost the immune system, which, in turn, reduce the infection caused due to the sebaceous cyst (38).
- Drink plenty of water and consume lots of fresh fruits. It is required for the elimination of waste from the body.
- Include fibrous and citrus fruits, whole grains, fish oil, red clover, garlic, barberry, and green leafy vegetables in your diet.
- Consult your physician in case you notice that the size of the cyst has swollen or increased, it is pus-filled, the pain has increased. Also, seek support from your doctor if the cyst is in the genital area (39, 40).
- If the cyst pops on its own, wash it thoroughly with the running water and make use of anti-bacterial soap to clean the affected area (41, 42).
- Keep the areas surrounding the cyst clean (43).
- Always wash your hands before treating the cyst.
- Make use of clean and dry washcloth to clean the cyst. Change cyst dressing frequently.
- If the pus drains, apply a bandage. It must be changed twice a day (44).
- Make use of oil-free skin products.
- Use hygienic blades and wax for clearing the hair on the skin.
- Avoid the urge of scratching or squeezing the cyst to bring pus out, as it may pass on the infection to other body parts. It may also lead to bleeding (45).
- Avoid the excessive exposure to the sun.
- Reduce the intake of salty, spicy and caffeinated foods in your diet to avoid the risk of breast cysts.