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Home Remedies for Sebaceous Cyst

Home Remedies for Sebaceous Cyst

Sebaceous cysts can be seen as bumps underneath skin generally in round shape but in different sizes. These cysts are smooth when touched. They can be commonly seen on the scalp, ears, back, face, and upper arm but they can occur anywhere on your body barring the palms of your hands and soles of the feet. In males, sebaceous cysts can be commonly noticed on scrotum and chest, the areas where there are more hair. Sebaceous cysts have this name because they originate from sebaceous glands and also because they contain sebum. These cysts occur rarely. Sebaceous cysts are also known as steatocystomas or steatocystoma multiplex when there are multiple sebaceous cysts. Sometimes people use sebaceous cysts as an alternative term for epidermoid cysts and pilar cysts but all of these cysts are different and the terms cannot be used interchangeably.

Some of the causes for sebaceous cyst include blocked sebaceous glands, swollen hair follicles, and excessive production of testosterone hormone.

Natural Home Remedies for Sebaceous Cysts

Sebaceous cysts are generally non cancerous growths and usually you don’t need to treat them. You may only want to get rid of sebaceous cyst if they continue to grow and reach such a size that’s uncomfortable for you or when you think they are unsightly. Sometimes it becomes essential to get them treated when these cysts become painful and infected. Here are some home and herbal remedies for sebaceous cysts for you.

This is appropriate to mention here that these remedies deal with a sebaceous cyst that has become infected. A normal sebaceous cyst generally does not require any treatment and subsides naturally. Even if it stays on there, it doesn’t cause you any harm. Infected sebaceous cysts however need medical attention. Symptoms of an infected sebaceous cyst may include increase in body temperature in the area where you have this cyst, red streaks within your cyst and leakage of very foul smelling fluid from it. Doctors usually recommend applying warmth to the infected cysts and sometimes prescribe antibiotics. Surgery is the final treatment recommended for sebaceous cysts by doctors. Remedies for sebaceous cysts, the infected ones, also focus upon using natural ingredients that have anti-bacterial properties and such other properties that reduce swelling and other discomforts caused by infections of cysts.

1. Warm Compress for Sebaceous Cyst

Moist heat applied to sebaceous cysts speeds up the draining and healing process. Heat dilates your blood vessels and thus improves transportation of nutrients to the affected site so that the damaged skin heals faster. It also helps improve blood circulation in the area. The increased blood flow here then washes out any toxins that may be causing the inflammation.

Get this:

  • A clean towel
  • Warm water

Do this:

  • Soak the towel in warm (not hot) water.
  • Take it out and wring out the excess water in it.
  • Apply this warm towel to your cyst for about 10-20 minutes. Don’t do it more than 30 minutes at a stretch.
  • Repeat 2-4 times a day.

2. Tea Tree Oil for Sebaceous Cyst

When you suffer from over production of sebum, you get clogged pores that in turn give rise to cystic acne. These sever cystic acne may get infected to form cysts. Tea tree oil may help reduce the occurrence of sebaceous cysts. Tea tree oil is a known anti-microbial agent and can have excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects. Although there is no scientific backing about this oil being effective in treating sebaceous cysts, you may use it for your infected cysts for its anti-bacterial properties.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Infected Sebaceous Cyst

Get this:

  • Tea tree oil- 1-2 drops
  • Adhesive tape (Band-aid)

Do this:

  • Apply 1-2 drops of tea tree oil on your infected cyst.
  • Cover the cyst with the band-aid.
  • Remove the band-aid after 8-10 hours.
  • Do not sleep with it at night.
  • Apply the oil in the morning itself.

3. Castor Oil for Sebaceous Cyst

Castor oil can effectively counter inflammation and itching. This oil has a chemical called ricin that gives it its ant-bacterial properties. Even if your cyst is not infected, there seems no harm in using castor oil on it.

How to Use Castor Oil for Sebaceous Cyst

Get this:

  • Castor oil
  • Clean cloth
  • Hot compress

Do this:


  • Get a clean piece of cloth.
  • Soak this in castor oil.
  • Now place it on your cyst.
  • On top of the cloth piece, place a hot compress.
  • Hold it there for few minutes, maximum for half an hour.

Or just rub some castor oil gently over your cyst few times a day.

4. Aloe Vera for Sebaceous Cyst

Aloe vera has now been widely recognized as not only a skin-friendly herb but as a herb that is good for your overall health. The anti-bacterial and pain relieving properties of aloe vera come to play when you want to get rid of the discomforts caused by your cysts. This is due to the many phenolic compounds present in aloe vera gel. Aloe vera is also known for its ability to hasten up the process of wound healing.

How to Use Aloe Vera for Sebaceous Cyst

Get this:

  • Aloe vera gel

Do this:

  • Take some aloe vera gel.
  • Apply this directly on your cyst.
  • Now gently rub this into the area to help it penetrate deep into your cyst.
  • Do this 1-2 times a day.

5. Witch Hazel for Sebaceous Cyst

The extract of witch hazel herb has this reputation of being excellent astringent. Both the barks and the leaves of witch hazel are a rich source of tannins. Tannins are a known remedy for excessive oil producing glands. They tighten the pores of your skin and contain the secretion of oil so that you don’t get acne and cysts.

How to Use Witch Hazel for Sebaceous Cyst

Get this:

  • Witch hazel

Do this:

  • Apply 1-2 drops of witch hazel on your cyst.
  • Gently rub to send it deep down.
  • Repeat this daily.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar to Remove Sebaceous Cyst

Apple cider vinegar has strong ant-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. In fact its antimicrobial qualities are what make it suitable as a cleansing agent. In case of a sebaceous cyst too, it cleanse the infected cyst off bacteria.
Get this

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Cotton ball

Do this:

  • Soak the cotton ball in apple cider vinegar.
  • Apply this to your cyst. Hold for some time and remove.
  • If you feel stinging sensation or if your skin is too sensitive, dilute the vinegar with some water and then use it on your cyst.
  • Do this 3-4 times a day.

7. Burdock for Sebaceous Cyst

Burdock is an antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory herb. It has been traditionally used for chronic skin ailments. Herbalists use burdock not only for common acne, but also for serious skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, hives, boils and sebaceous cysts. Burdock root is widely used in Japan and China for not only alternative medicine but also in dishes. You can use it in soups, salads or make tea out of burdock root.

How to Make Burdock Tea

Get this:

  • Fresh burdock root (coarsely chopped)- 2 tbsp Or Dried burdock root- 1 tbsp
  • Water- 3 cups
  • Honey (optional)

Do this:

  • Place the herb in a pot.
  • Add water to this.
  • Bring the water with herb to a boil.
  • Now lower the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Put off the flame and let it steep for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Have this tea once or divided into 2-3 servings throughout the day. Warm it up before having.
  • If you can’t stand its taste, add a little honey to this and drink it.
  • Burdock is a diuretic so it’s better not to have much of this tea.

You may also soak a cotton pad or a clean cloth in warm burdock tea and use it as warm compress for sebaceous cyst for faster healing.

8. Red Clover for Sebaceous Cyst

Red clover is a popular herb among herbalists who primarily use it as a natural “blood purifier.” Most of the alternative medicine systems believe that toxins in the blood are the cause behind many illnesses and skin diseases are no exception. Researchers are underway to find out the suitability of red clover in treating even cancer. Red clover is widely used for treatment of acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin diseases including sebaceous cyst as it is believed to make your body get rid of toxic build up that give rise to cysts and tumors. The components of red clover like phytoestrogenic isoflavones are said to make this herb an excellent natural remedies for skin and other medical conditions.

Ways to Use Red Clover for Sebaceous Cyst

  1. Make red clover tea by adding 1-3 teaspoons of dry red clover flowers in 1-3 cups of hot water. Let it steep for about15 minutes. Strain and have this tea three times a day.
  2. Chop some red clover flowers and make a paste by adding a little water. Apply this poultice to your cyst.
  3. The tincture of red clover can also be taken internally. Have 2-6 ml (less than1/4 tsp to 1-1/4 tsp) of tincture three times a day.

Precaution: Pregnant and breast feeding women should not take red clover due to its effects on hormones. Those taking blood thinning medications should also consult their doctor before taking any herb.

9. Goldenseal for Sebaceous Cyst

Goldenseal has this component called berberine which makes it an effective anti-microbial agent. Berberine is capable of inhibiting or killing many microorganisms like fungi, protozoa and bacteria. This is why modern herbalists use goldenseal in the form of a topical antibiotic for skin wounds. It is also used to treat viral mouth sores and fungal infections like athlete’s foot.

Make Goldenseal Salve for Cyst

Get this:

  • Dry goldenseal herb- 1/2 – 1 cup
  • Olive oil- enough to submerge the herb and an inch above that
  • Beeswax- 4-6 tsp or more depending upon your required consistency

Do this:

  • Place your herb in a crock pot or a double boiler.
  • Pour olive oil to cover it. Let the oil 1 inch higher than the herb.
  • Now heat them on a low heat for 3-5 hours.
  • Let the oil cool down considerably.
  • Strain it with a strainer lined with cheesecloth.
  • Don’t forget to squeeze the cheesecloth to get as much as oil out of the herb as you can.
  • Now add required amount of beeswax and stir till it melts.
  •  When you have got your required consistency, stop adding wax and store the salve in a jar.
  • Apply this to your cyst 2-3 times a day.

You may even apply this salve on minor wounds and cuts.

10. Frankincense Oil for sebaceous Cyst

Frankincense oil extracted from the Boswellia carteri tree is widely used in aromatherapy for calm and peace. Herbalists use it topically for a many skin conditions too. Although there are no scientific study reports to back the claim, but many people with sebaceous cysts who have used this oil state that it reduced the size of their cysts remarkably. This may be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of Frankincense oil.

Get this:

  • Frankincense oil- few drops
  • Any oil ( grape seed oil or olive oil etc.)- 1 tsp

Do this:

  • Add the Frankincense oil in your teaspoon of carrier oil.
  • Mix and apply to your cysts twice a day.

Precaution: never use this oil undiluted. Pregnant and breast feeding mothers should avoid using it.

11. Grapefruit Seed Extract for Sebaceous Cyst Removal

Just like the Frankincense oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) too doesn’t have any medical backing but many people find it quite effective in reducing the size of cysts and that too rather fast. GSE is extracted from the seeds and pulp of the fruit Citrus Paradisi, commonly known as grapefruit. It is a natural germicide and is effective against many infections in human beings. It needs to be used in very small quantities due to its great strength.

Get this:

  • Grapefruit seed extract- 1 drop
  • Tissue
  • Bandage

Do this:

  • Apply the drop of GSE directly to your cyst.
  • Wait for a few seconds or a minute till it gets absorbed
  • Now dab with tissue to remove the excessive extract
  • Cover with a bandage.

12. Milk Thistle for Sebaceous Cyst

There are claims of milk thistle being an effective remedy for sebaceous cyst. The theory states that milk thistle help cleanse liver by eliminating all toxic wastes. This purifies the system and it doesn’t cause cysts. It is something like the theory of purifying the blood and its circulation to prevent cysts. However, this lacks any medical backing. Milk thistle seeds have a bioflavonoid complex called silymarin which is said to be behind its benefits. It also reduces inflammation and is a strong antioxidant.

How to Take Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is available in the form of capsules (of standardized dried herb) containing about 120 – 140 mg silymarin. It can also be found in form of liquid extract and tincture. As this herb directly affects your liver, it should always be taken as directed by your doctor or a medical herbalist. Never try to take it on your own. Consult either a doctor or a herbalist for proper dosage and method suitable for your condition.


Precaution: Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use this herb. Don’t use it if you are if you are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, chamomile, yarrow, or daisies.

Does Nutrition Play Role in Elimination of Sebaceous Cyst?

Although many people claim that nutritional deficiencies cause these cysts, sebaceous cysts are not related to your diet. Therefore, you don’t get these cysts due to your food choices or improper nutrition. Having said that, it is also important to mention that proper nutrition is essential for your overall health. If diet and nutrition are not related to sebaceous cysts, that doesn’t mean you should pay less attention to your diet or nutrients. Damage to your hair follicle or to your sebaceous glands that produce skin oil give rise to such cysts. Some sebaceous cysts even happen while a child is still in the womb. This is due to improper formation of certain cells. Sometimes heredity too plays role in giving you sebaceous cyst. Some people who suffer from genetic disorder called Gardner’s syndrome are also at higher risk for these cysts. However, diet seems to have no role in causing sebaceous cysts.

About Sara

Sara is a Boston-based registered dietitian who works with clients to improve their health by optimizing nutrition. You can find her running, sweating in hot yoga, cooking in the kitchen, dining out, or exploring. Eating Food-Mostly Plants, and improving our relationship with food, is the secret to lifelong health in her eyes.

One comment

  1. Nor true. It's been proven too much dairy in a diet causes these cysts.

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