How to Treat an Infected Sebaceous Cyst


Use a warm compress over the cyst.
 A towel that’s warmed to 37-40 °C (100-105°F) may be applied 3-4 times a day for no more than 10-30 minutes. This dilates the blood vessels and the warm sensation diminishes the pain by acting as a counter-irritant that masks the pain brought about by the inflammation.

  • Sebaceous cysts may be covered if not causing the patient distress; most are non-dangerous and are only bothersome aesthetically. However, if it’s infected, seeking medical treatment is wise.

Keep the cyst clean. Be sure to routinely and thoroughly wash the skin with non-irritating antimicrobial soap in running water. Pat dry the skin using a clean cloth or towel and cover with a sterile gauze – keep the gauze dry at all times.

  • Avoid putting cosmetics and skin care products on the site of the cyst. This may cause further irritation and infection.

Never pop the cyst on your own. This type of cyst dries up naturally; trying to pop it would put you at risk for further infection and may cause permanent scarring. Resist the temptation — if it bothers you, get it removed by a doctor.

  • If a cyst burst due to healing or accidental popping causing a break in the skin; wash the area thoroughly in running water using a non-irritating antimicrobial soap.

Seek medical intervention if there’s a noticeable infection. If signs of infection occur — pain, swelling, redness, and warmth sensation — notify your doctor immediately for appropriate medical intervention. It’s a very routine procedure and nothing to worry about; however, if left alone, you can become septic, which is a very, very serious condition.

  • Even if your cyst doesn’t seem infected, you may wish to visit a doctor. A very simple incision will be made, and the cyst can be gone in a matter of minutes. You may need to get 1 or 2 stitches once the cyst is removed.

Try tea tree oil. Oil made out of tea tree is a great anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory remedy. It can kill the bacteria causing infection. However, know that there is little hard science to back up the relation between tea tree oil and cysts.

  • To use the remedy, simply apply 1 or 2 drops of tea tree oil on the lesion and cover it with a band-aid. Use tea tree oil once a day, in the morning, and uncover the lesion at night.

Use castor oil. Castor oil contains ricin, a chemical very effective against bacteria. Soak a piece of cloth in castor oil and place it on the cyst. Place a hot compress on top of the castor oil-soaked cloth and hold it for 30 minutes. The heat will help the oil diffuse into the skin a lot easier. The ricin will destroy the bacteria causing the infection.

  • Again, the science is lacking. It may fight bacteria potentially, but its efficacy on cysts is dubious. It likely will not be harmful, but it may also not be effective.

Use aloe vera. Aloe contains phenolic compounds which have antibiotic properties. Apply aloe vera gel directly on the lesion and gently rub it until it penetrates the skin. Repeat the process each day, until the infection is cured.

  • Aloe vera is a treatment that has been used for centuries. It is one of mother nature’s greatest curing agents. However, once more, there’s no science to show that it is an end-all, be-all cure for cysts.

Experiment with apple cider vinegar. The main compound found in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid. It has antiseptic properties, killing infection-causing bacteria. This, however, is very general and does not specially apply to cysts. In other words, do not rely on this remedy alone.

  • Apply vinegar on the affected area and cover it with a bandage. Remove the bandage after 3 or 4 days. You will notice that a hard layer is formed on top of the lesion.
  • When you remove the crust or when it naturally falls off, pus will ooze out along with the bacteria. Clean the area and apply a new bandage, without vinegar. After 2 or 3 days, the cyst should be healed.

Use dandelion. Boil a bag of dandelion dried herb in four cups of water. Simmer for 45 minutes after boiling and drink the tea 3 or 4 times per day. Continue to use the treatment for about a week.

  • Dandelion is an herb containing taraxacin, a natural antibiotic. However, the science stops there. Medical treatment is much more effective for cyst removal than any herbal remedy.
Video Source: Dr. Geoff Butler

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