A pilonidal cyst is a pocket of flesh that, in general, contains other materials such as hair, skin or tissue. It is almost always found at the base of the spine, near the cleft of the buttocks. These cysts usually appear in people between the ages of 15 and 24 years, more often in men than in women.
Although pilonidal cysts are harmless, they can become painful as well as severe if they become infected. Some natural home remedies are available if you have a pilonidal cyst. Below are 8 wonderful home remedies for pilonidal cysts that should be taken into consideration.
Common Causes Of Pilonidal Cysts
The interesting thing about pilonidal cysts more than any other disease is the fact that doctors have yet to come to a definitive conclusion as to what exactly causes pilonidal cysts.
The most widely accepted theory today is that pilonidal cysts are caused by loose hairs in the natal cleft region penetrating the skin and causing inflammation and then eventually a cyst. Hence the name pilonidal which literally means “a nest of hairs” in Latin.
Another possible cause of pilonidal cysts is the stretching of the skin or fat tissue under the skin which causes the enlargement and damage of a neighboring hair follicle. A cyst will then form on the damaged hair follicle. Others claim weight and lack of exercise plays an important part into whether or not you will develop a pilonidal cyst.
Pilonidal Cyst Symptoms
The symptoms of pilonidal cyst are pretty straightforward. Most common symptoms include:
- A swollen abscess near natal cleft region (top of butt crack)
- Dull, often throbbing pain
- Red skin (inflamed skin – warm to the touch)
- Warm skin
- Pus drainage (can also be blood)
- Fever (rare)
Some people, on the other hand, may not show any of these symptoms at first. All that is visible is a small hole or dimple. However, once that small hole or dimple becomes infected, these painful symptoms will arise and often last for months.
To prevent infections, always keep the area clean and dry. Consider using an antibacterial soap when washing up.
If you suspect hair as being the primary culprit, it would be wise to remove as much hair as possible using either laser hair removal or simple shaving.
Pilonidal Cyst Risk Factors
Some people are more prone to develop pilonidal cysts than others. Common risk factors for pilonidal cyst include:
- Obesity –the heavier you are, the more likely you are to be afflicted with a pilonidal cyst. There are numerous reasons for this, one being that overweight individuals tend to have a larger natal cleft region than others and as a result can harbor more bacteria.
- Hairiness –the hairier you are, the more the likelihood of you developing a pilonidal cyst. Hair is a common risk factor due to pilonidal cysts becoming inflamed and sore from penetrating hairs. Also, the coarser and thicker your hair is will determine your susceptibility to this disease.
- Dormant lifestyle/ prolonged sitting –the longer you sit around on your butt, the more likely it is you will develop a pilonidal abscess. Even more so for those of you who slouch when seated (applying pressure directly on the coccyx bone).
- Age –most pilonidal cyst sufferers are young, typically within the 15 to 40 age group.
- Race –Pilonidal cysts are more commonly found in Caucasians than any other ethnic group.
- Gender –men are more likely to get pilonidal cysts than women by 3 to 1.
Theoretically, anyone can get a pilonidal cyst even if they do not have any of the above classifications, but these risk factors for pilonidal cysts are the most common ones.
Home Remedies For Pilonidal Cysts
Although pilonidal cysts can be treated with medications, there are several home remedies that can reduce the appearance of these cysts and provide relief from the symptoms of existing cysts. Below are some of the most recommended home remedies for pilonidal cysts.
Frequent Hot Baths
Undoubtedly one of the best methods for treating a pilonidal cyst, it provides pain relief, cleanses the area, and can actually encourage the cyst to loosen.
The method is relatively simple. If you’ve ever run and had a bath before, then you know how to do it. One tip is to make sure the bath is as hot as you can comfortably take. Do not make it boiling hot, but it’s definitely better to have the baths slightly hotter than slightly colder. The heat will help to soothe the pain and give you at least temporary relief, and with repeated baths (at least once a day, preferably more), you may find that the cyst will actually shrink and leak out.
Try not to use too many bath soaps or bath bubbles unless they are 100% natural. It’s best just to have a clear path with no bubbles, as they could potentially aggravate the cyst and cause more pain.
Many people have had success with using Epsom Bath Salts in their baths. These can provide a salty atmosphere for the cyst to rest in, which is very cleansing and will encourage the pus inside the cyst to come out. However, even without Epsom Bath Salts, hot baths are a crucial part of your home remedies inventory.
Now, antibiotics are also a crucial method of treating yourself from home. Although you will need to go to your doctor and be prescribed them if you catch a pilonidal cyst early enough with antibiotics you can actually halt it in its tracks and stop it from developing further, which is fantastic as this means you won’t have to worry about any other method.
A crucial point is to ensure you go to your doctor and receive a correct diagnosis and get the right medication. Do not just go to the pharmacy and buy a pack of standard antibiotics, as the dose may be too high/too low and do more harm than good. The medical industry has a fairly good understanding of pilonidal cysts and thus they will be able to help. Remember to take them early and regularly (the prescribed amount), and don’t miss a taking as this could undo any of the previous hard work.
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Although this treatment may seem a little too ‘out-there’ or holistic for some people, it has worked for many and really helped to reduce the inflammatory properties of their cysts.
This method basically involves breaking up a clove of garlic into fine pieces and placing it directly over the infected area with gauze for roughly 10 to 20 minutes. It is crucial to apply it for no longer than 20 minutes, which should be the maximum, otherwise, it can cause the tissue in the area to become unbearably painful.
After done, flush the area with clean warm water and ensure it is clean. Repeat once every 24 hours for a test period of 3-7 days and see if it works for you.
Ensure the garlic has hairy roots at the bottom to ensure it is as natural as possible, otherwise, it will not be as powerful as it can be. Garlic is a great antibiotic, and in some cases can help to get rid of the cyst almost completely.
You should also combine this method with frequent hot baths, preferably with Epsom Salt added to the bath water.
Tip – If you feel burning when you apply the garlic to your skin, do not worry! It is common, but as stated above you should not keep the garlic on your skin for an extended period of time.
Another proven method is the castor oil packs method. This form of pilonidal cyst home treatment is popular with herbalists and holistic practionioners, but just like with the garlic method, has worked for many people.
If you can, buy some castor oil at your local pharmacy (they are usually found in the laxative section), along with some sterile gauze pads. Empty a small amount of the castor oil on to the gauze, being careful not to spill it anywhere. Ideally, you should use enough to lightly wet, not soak, the gauze.
Place this over the cyst pilonidal affected area with some plastic wrap, then apply dry, not moist, heat (like hot water bottles, for example). You can use these a few times every day for up to 60 minutes at a time.
Why do the castor oil packs work? Castor oil can purportedly pull infections out of the body, and can thus rid your cyst of the nasty bacteria inside. Combine this method with the method below (tea tree oil) to draw out and kill the bacteria inside the cyst at the same time, killing two birds with one stone.
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The use of apple cider vinegar can also help treat the pilonidal cyst. Its anti-inflammatory property helps reduce pain and inflammation. In addition, the antiseptic and antibacterial nature of apple cider vinegar prevents the growth of bacteria that can lead to new infections and delay the healing process.
Mix 2 or 3 teaspoons of organic, without filtering the raw apple cider vinegar in a ½ cup of warm water. Dip a cotton ball in this solution and place it directly on the affected area for about 1 minute. Repeat this remedy 3 or 4 times a day for a few days.
Alternatively, add 1 teaspoon, filter the raw apple cider vinegar with a glass of warm water and drink twice a day to promote healing from the inside.
Tea Tree Oil
The tea tree oil pilonidal cyst home treatment method is a bit simpler than the previous two methods. Simply buy a 100% natural bottle of tea tree oil, squeeze a small amount onto your hand, then rub it onto your cyst. This will not only reduce inflammation and the size of the cyst but also help encourage it to go down. It’s a great, quick, cheap and natural method that anybody can do. Repeat this a few times a day or as necessary for as long as it takes.
Some people even report never having a pilonidal cyst again when combining this with hot baths daily. It’s definitely worth a try.
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This last tip may apply to many illnesses, but as there are only benefits to be gained from doing it when you have a pilonidal cyst, it’s recommended that you detox as soon as you notice the symptoms. It’s never too late to detox, and detoxing will help you get rid of many illnesses. Drink plenty of water mixed with lemon juice and natural honey, and follow a clean diet with no junk food. The idea is to lighten the load placed on your body and cleanse yourself, which will also cleanse your pus-filled cyst.
Pilonidal cyst home treatment can work, and it can work so well you won’t require surgery. Be sure to start with the frequent hot baths and continue from there, adding and taking away the various home treatment methods as you see fit. Pilonidal sinus cysts can last for months, so you will have some time to experiment. As always, consult a doctor and ensure you are not allergic to any of the treatments, and if you simply continue with the hot baths and start a detox.