A Shower Cap Cyst

Cysts that appear on your back can quickly become painful and irritated. Most will respond well to home treatment and may clear up within a week or so with proper care. This includes keeping the area clean and applying first aid treatments until the cyst goes away. However, if you need faster treatment or need to remove a cyst that is infected or keeps coming back, medical intervention or alternative remedies might be necessary as well.

Apply a warm compress. Soak a clean washcloth, cotton pad, or sponge in warm water and apply it directly to the cyst. Keep it on the area until the cloth or pad cools down. Repeat this action several times each day until the cyst goes away.

  • The heat thins out the liquid inside of the cyst, which ultimately causes the cyst to shrink and heal faster.
  • The water should be very warm but not hot enough to cause burns. You should barely feel any discomfort when you touch the water with your bare skin.
  • You can also make a warm compress by placing a wet cloth in a plastic bag and heating it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Test the cloth to make sure it isn’t too hot before you put it on your arm.

Consider adding Epsom salt to your compress. You can also mix 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of Epsom salt into every 2 cups (500 ml) of warm water used for your compress. The salt can speed up the healing process. 

  • However, using too much can also cause your skin to dry out, so you should only apply an Epsom salt compress once or twice a day.

Clean the area with soap and water. Use warm water and a gentle, fragrance-free soap that will not dry out or irritate your skin. It is important to have the area clean, especially if the cyst has opened up and dirt and bacteria can get inside of it.

  • It may be necessary for you to get someone to help you clean the area if it is right in the middle of your back. If you can’t get someone to help you, try gently applying the soap with a shower brush and rinsing the area off in the shower

Put topical first aid creams on the cyst. If your cyst continues to be sensitive, you may need to apply products to it to reduce the inflammation. Look for creams that are designed to draw the cyst to the surface, such as Boil-Ease. Some people may also find products such as anti-fungal cream or even hemorrhoid cream helpful. Regardless of which topical cream you try, you should apply a small amount directly over the cyst and cover the area with a clean band-aid. Remove the band-aid the following day and apply additional cream if necessary.

  • Be sure to follow the directions included with your cream.
  • If you have any questions about the application of your cream, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Avoid irritating the area further. If you have a cyst that is painful, it is a good idea to cover it with a band-aid when it is at risk of being irritated from rubbing against your clothes. However, cover it lightly and be sure to take off the band-aid when it is no longer at risk of being bumped or rubbed so that the cyst can breathe.

  • For instance, try wearing a band-aid over the cyst during the day but taking it off when you get home and can have the area exposed to the air.

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