Sebaceous cysts are tiny lumps which develop underneath your skin, usually on the face, neck, trunk and genitals. Sebaceous cysts are slow-growing and by and large, painless, and they seldom cause any problems or require any treatment.
Sebaceous cysts originate from the glands which release sebum (the oily substance which lubricates the hair and skin).
What Causes Sebaceous Cysts?
The epidermis or the surface of the skin comprises of a thin, protective layer of cells which the body constantly sheds. Cysts develop when these surface cells move deeper in to the skin and multiply, instead of shedding. This usually occurs in regions where there are tiny hair follicles and larger oil glands such as the face, neck, trunk and groin.
The epidermal cells form the walls of the cyst, and release the protein keratin in to the center. Keratin is the thick yellow matter which drains from the sebaceous cyst.
Commonly seen etiological and triggering factors are:
- Damage to a hair follicle: Hair grows from a follicle; a follicle that is damaged by either abrasion or surgical wounds can get obstructed by surface cells.
- Increased synthesis and release of sebum: An increase in the oily sebum manufacture triggers cyst formation.
- A broken sebaceous gland: The sebaceous glands get ruptured easily by inflammatory skin conditions, particularly acne.
- Blockage of the sebaceous glands: Is another significant factor.
- Excessive testosterone production: When one hits puberty or in certain medical conditions such as PCOS, testosterone synthesis gets elevated and this sets off cyst formation.
Symptoms Of Sebaceous Cyst
- Sebaceous cysts are round small lumps which can be moved with your fingers.
- They’re usually white or yellow.
- Their size varies from less than ¼ of an inch to about 2 inches in diameter.
- They can develop on any part of the body, but are most common on the face, neck, trunk and genitals.
- Usually the cyst has a central opening through which you may be able to squash out a thick, cheesy material; however, there is a risk of infection and scarring, so it’s best left to your dermatologist.
Natural Remedies To Cure Sebaceous Cysts
The following home remedies and guidelines will help get rid of sebaceous cysts effectively:
- Tea Tree Essential Oil: Tea tree essential oil has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, which help eliminate sebaceous cysts successfully. Apply the oil over the cyst several times a day. It promises to get rid of the cyst quickly and will prevent recurrences too, if used in steam on a weekly basis.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe vera has very powerful healing and pain allaying properties. Apply the gel over the affected area and leave for about an hour. It will soothe the irritated and damaged skin and will speed up the process of healing.
- Castor Oil: Castor oil helps heal the inflamed cyst and also decreases itching. Soak a swab of cotton in castor oil and place over the infected cyst. Thereafter place a hot compress over it for half an hour. The castor oil and the heat of water will cure the cyst by shrinking it.
- Witch Hazel: Witch hazel has astringent properties which treat the sebaceous cyst quickly. The bark and the leaves of witch hazel are rich in tannins that help eliminate the extra oil from the skin and also tighten the pores. Apply a little of witch hazel gel on the cyst, twice daily. Within about 5 to 6 days, the size of the cyst will diminish.