While sebaceous cysts are mostly harmless, they are a source of annoyance, pain, and self-consciousness. The skin contains sebaceous glands that provide sebum which is a lubricating oil to keep the skin moist and healthy. When the glands are clogged by a hair follicle, the sebum builds up causing the red, puffy cyst. As tempting as it is, the solution is not to pick or pop these lesions because this makes the situation worse.
1. Conservative Care
Also called watchful waiting, this treatment consists of essentially just letting the cyst run its course with the help of heat to aid in circulation in the area. This will help the pus work its way out naturally. Using a warm washcloth or a heating pad, apply warmth for about 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat this a few times a day. Also, make sure to use antibacterial soap and keep the area clean, warm, and dry.
2. Salts: Epsom Salt and Potassium Iodide
Salts have properties that help reduce swelling and flush out bacteria. Both of these are external treatments. For cysts on the body or back of scalp, a cup of Epsom salt mixed into bath water eases the pain and discomfort after about a 15-minute soak. An application of potassium iodide applied to the area and left on will both reduce inflammation and destroy the bacteria in the cyst. This is considered to be one of the most effective sebaceous cyst treatment home remedies.
3. Oils: Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, and Tea Tree Oil
Applying each of these oils to a sebaceous cyst a few times a day will speed up the healing. These all have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. One key ingredient in coconut oil is lauric acid which destroys bacteria. Tea tree oil helps numerous skin conditions including acne and can either be applied in full strength or diluted with water. Finally, castor oil combined with a heating pad is a good fix for decreasing the cyst’s size.
4. Vegetables: Cabbage and Potato
It is common knowledge that eating vegetables is healthy, but using them on the skin also has benefits. Boiling cabbage leaves for 3 minutes and placing them on top of the cyst helps draw the pus out and resolves the problem quicker. Potatoes also speed up the healing, especially because of their high content of vitamin C. Simply leaving a potato slice or potato juice on the cyst overnight will decrease swelling and prevent further infection.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar destroys the infection in sebaceous cysts and leads to quicker resolution. For a week, a daily application of some vinegar and a bandage will lead to a crust formation over the cyst. Simply peel off this layer, and the cyst will drain. In a few days, new skin will grow over the area.
6. Herbs: Echinacea and Red Clover
For best results, both of these herbs need to be ingested in the form of tea. Two tablespoons of echinacea leaves steeped in boiling water for 10 minutes fights infection throughout the body. Red clover tea leaves, 3 teaspoons in 3 cups of water steeped for 15 minutes, works to purify the bloodstream and to flush toxins like those found in a sebaceous cyst. Drink your choice of tea a few times a day for quickest results.
7. Spices: Garlic and Turmeric
Each of these remedies are applied directly onto the cyst and washed off after about 15 minutes. Making the garlic paste involves crushing 3 cloves of garlic and mixing with a dash of water. This has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling and kill microbes. A mix of 1 tablespoon turmeric with an equal amount of honey works to break up and drain the cyst.
8. Honey and Bee Pollen
Honey can improve many different skin conditions. For a sebaceous cyst, an application of honey and cinnamon in a 3 to 1 ratio daily helps speed up the healing of the cyst. Alternately, 2 tablespoon of bee pollen taken orally leads to improved skin health and quick resolution skin conditions.
9. Grapefruit Seed Extract
A small amount of this substance goes a long way. One drop of grapefruit seed extract on a sebaceous cyst twice a day will significantly speed up healing. For best results, cover the cyst with a bandage between applications. The extract is extremely potent and can resolve both bacterial and fungal infections.
Milk contains colostrum which is essentially a collection of antibodies that help fight infection. For sebaceous cysts, simply soak a tea bag in milk and leave it on the cyst overnight every night until it heals. Drinking milk daily will also help reduce the risk for recurrence.