A pilonidal cyst is an abnormal pocket in the skin which typically contains skin and hair debris. A pilonidal cyst is more common in males than in females and resembles a large pimple. Also, it is more common in Caucasians than in other racial groups.
This cystic structure develops along the tailbone near the cleft of the buttocks, about 4 to 5 centimeters from the anus. Less usually, it can develop in other areas of the human body, like – the hands.
During World War II, over 80,000 US soldiers were hospitalized with a pilonidal cyst. Also, during World War II, the condition was usually called “Jeep driver’s disease.” In the present day, there are approximately 72,000 diagnoses in the US every year.
The symptoms of a pilonidal cyst include:
- redness, pain, and swelling at the bottom of the spine;
- tenderness to the touch;
- bad smell from the pus;
- pus or blood draining out of it.
A rare complication of a pilonidal cyst is a pilonidal sinus, an opening which grows under the skin from the hair follicle.
Doctors don’t agree on precisely what causes the condition, but most think that the pilonidal cyst occurs due to trauma to the area which results in ingrown hairs.
Some factors can make you more susceptible to developing the condition, including:
- stiff or coarse hair;
- male sex;
- excess body hair;
- younger age (it is more common in individuals in their 20s);
- having an occupation which requires you to sit for a prolonged time;
- deep gluteal cleft;
- midline skin pits;
- being overweight or obese;
- damage to the skin from friction;
- local shaving;
- sedentarism (inactive lifestyle).
Your healthcare provider will diagnose a pilonidal cyst by first doing a physical examination. If the infection is serious, blood tests may be performed to complete the diagnosis.
10 Natural Cures for Pilonidal Cyst
#1 Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has been used for millennia as an essential ingredient in the traditional medicine. It has potent anti-bacterial properties that speed up the healing of the cyst.
Note – to uses it, apply an aloe vera gel on the cyst for 3 to 5 hours every day.
#2 Dietary Changes
A nutritious diet provides the needed nutrients for maximum function and balances the body and mind. It is recommended to:
- include vegetable smoothies in the diet a few times per week;
- consume raw fruits and veggies every day;
- consume more water and less soda, coffee, alcoholic beverages, sports drinks, and energy drinks;
- keep processed foods to a minimum;
- eat a variety of whole foods.
#3 Warm Compress Over The Cyst
A towel which is warmed to 100-105°F (37-40 °C) can be applied 3 to 4 times per day for 15 min. The heat can increase blood circulation to the area, soothe the lump, and speed up the healing process.
Turmeric is a rhizomatous perennial flowering plant that is part of the ginger family. It is usually used as a spice, however, it is also known for its potent medicinal purposes.
Turmeric is traditionally used in Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat arthritis since it blocks inflammatory enzymes and cytokines. It also works on clogged skin pores which lead to the cyst development and has a purifying effect on the blood. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, helps the body to better cope with skin infection and inflammation.
To use it, you can make a thick paste by combining water with turmeric and apply this paste on the cyst for about 60 minutes. Apply the paste two times per day.
#5 Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is the term used to describe particles of silver suspended in a liquid. Some of its health benefits include:
- helps in conjunctivitis treatment in newborns;
- improves the functioning of the immune system;
- possible treatment for acne;
- helps heal skin wounds;
- reduces the inflammation;
- antimicrobial properties.
Note – you can apply it directly on the cyst.
#6 Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a compound with strong medicinal properties which is derived from the bark and leaves of a type of shrub that is native to North America with the scientifical name of Hamamelis virginiana.
It offers excellent astringent properties which can help in curing sebaceous cysts easily. In addition, it is a strong antioxidant that is useful for killing pathogenic bacteria which live within the skin’s pores.
Note – to treat a pilonidal cyst, apply witch hazel cream over the cyst for about twenty minutes.
#7 Lugol’s Iodine Solution
Lugol’s iodine, also referred to as aqueous iodine, is a solution of potassium iodide with iodine in water. When a deficiency in iodine is the cause of a pilonidal cyst, this natural remedy is particularly useful.
Lugol’s Iodine is occasionally used internally for cysts, however, you can use it topically to treat cysts. But, it is recommended that you diluted prior of using it topically.
#8 Epsom Salt
Epsom salt has been used for centuries to ease all kinds of health issues. To use it, you just need to soak in bath water with a cup of Epsom salt for half an hour.
Note – make sure that the cyst is below the water line.
#9 Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is the most popular type of vinegar in the natural health community. ACV is produced from apple cider which has undergone fermentation (a metabolic process which consumes sugar in the absence of oxygen) to create health-promoting enzymes and probiotics.
Apple cider vinegar can be beneficial for getting rid of pilonidal cysts due to the fact that it has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Additionally, ACV acts as an astringent.
#10 Castor Oil
It is produced by extracting oil from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant and is used in various soaps, textiles, cosmetics, medicines, and massage oils. Applying castor oil topically on the cyst will decrease the size of the cyst.
Here are a few steps you can take to reduce the risk of having a pilonidal cyst:
- avoid sitting for a long time, especially on hard surfaces;
- keep the area of the cyst clean by showering or bathing daily;
- talk to your healthcare provider about laser hair removal;
- keep the cyst area dry;
- don’t wear tight-fitting clothing.