Pilonidal cyst is a chronic skin infection at the beginning of the crease of your buttock just at the bottom of the tailbone. It occurs with pus with high risk of infection. The infected cysts are painful making sitting and walking difficult. Highly developed pilonidal cyst can rupture, ooze pus or even bleed.
Pilonidal cyst appears similar to ingrown hair swelling.
What Causes Pilonidal Cysts?
It is still not clear what causes pilonidal cyst. It is believed that a group of hair and debris such as dead skin cells and bacteria trapped in the pores of the skin are responsible for the cyst. Following are the main risk factors for pilonidal cyst
- Being male
- Sedentary Lifestyle
- Thick body hair
- Family history
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Pilonidal Cyst?
Unfortunately pilonidal cyst does not produce any tangible symptoms until it gets infected. The infected cyst has the following signs and symptoms
- Lower back pain
- Foul smelling odor
- Oozing of blood and pus
7 Effective Home Remedies for Pilonidal Cyst
Following are some of the best home cures for pilonidal cyst. Try one or more of them for getting pain relief and fast healing.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent home treatment for pilonidal cyst. It reduces pain and swelling due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The antibacterial and antiseptic properties of ACV helps to keep the cyst away from bacterial infection and heal it fast.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in 50 ml of warm water
- Soak a cotton ball in the mix and spread it over the cyst
- Leave it there for about 10 minutes.
- remove the cotton ball and rinse the area with warm water
- Do it 2-3 times daily
You can also drink diluted apple cider vinegar daily for faster healing.
Garlic with sulfur compounds is a very potent antifungal antibacterial natural remedy for pilonidal cyst. You can consume garlic internally to improve your immunity and apply it topically on the affected area for faster healing.
- Crush a garlic clove to make a thick paste
- Apply the paste on affected cyst area and cover it with a gauze
- Leave it there for 15 minutes
- Rinse the area with warm water.
Turmeric with its compound cicumin posseses excellent anti-inflammatory properties to reduce pain and swelling. It is an excellent home remedy for pilonidal cyst as it also has antiseptic properties to prevent and deal with infection.
You can consume turmeric internally and apply it topically to get fast healing.
- Mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder with small amount of water to make a thick paste.
- Apply it on the affected area
- Let it dry
- Remove the dried turmeric paste with warm water.
- Do it 2-3 times a day
Turmeric may leave permanent yellow color on your cloths so be careful in its use.
In addition to above, drink a glass of milk mixed with one teaspoon of turmeric powder just before going to the bed daily.
4. Castor Oil
Castor oil reduces pain associated with pilonidal cyst due to its high anti-inflammatory capabilities.
- Warm a tablespoon of castor oil
- Soak a cotton ball in it
- Place the soaked cotton ball in the affected area
- leave it for 30 minutes
- Remove the cotton ball and rinse the area with warm water
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has antibacterial and antiinflammatory properties. Its use will reduce pain and swelling caused by the pilonidal cyst. It will accelerate healing comfortably. Here is how to use it.
- Apply organic aloe vera gel directly on the affected area
- Fresh aloe vera gel is prefered but commercially available gel will also do a good job
- Leave it on the place for 30 minutes and remove it with warm water rinse
- Do it 3-4 times daily
You can apply the gel in any other way, but regular use and consistency is more important.
6. Epsom Salt
The magnesium sulfate in epsom salt will give you pain relief from pilonidal cyst as well as removing the pus if any. It helps to heal the cyst fast.
- Mix one tablespoon of epsom salt in 2 tablespoons of warm water
- Let the salt completely dissolve in water
- Soak a cotton ball in the solution and keep it on the affected area
- leave the soaked cotton ball for 30 minutes
- Rinse the area with warm water
7. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another excellent home treatment as it is antibacterial, antifungal and and anti-inflammatory oil. It prevents and heal the infection fast as it penetrated the skin. It is highly concentrated so you must dilute it in a carrier oil before use.
- Add 10 drops of tea tree oil in a teaspoon of coconut oil
- Apply it on the pilonidal cyst affected area
- Leave it for 30 minutes before rinsing it with warm water
- Use it 3-4 times a day
In addition to all these applications, you should also do warm compress 3-4 times daily.
When does Surgery for Pilonidal Cyst Become Necessary?
If you general practitioner or dermatologist believe that the abscess created by the infection of pilonidal cyst cannot be treated by medicine and requires surgery then you will have no choice but to get is removed through surgery.
Almost all severe cases of pilonidal cyst require surgery. It requires drainage of infection from the abscess through a procedure called Incision and Drainage (I & D) requiring local anesthesia or general anesthesia depending on the severity of the infection. Other procedure is called pit picking which is a noun excision procedure.
Other Tips and Precautions
If the risk factors are modified in the potential pilonidal cyst candidates then in some cases the infection can be prevented. If you have a family history of pilonidal cyst or you belong to the risk group then following precautions will help.
- Maintain good hygiene
- Reduce your weight
- Change your sedentary Lifestyle
- Exfoliate the area regularly
- Avoid tight clothing that chafes the area
Don't let the cyst grow. If self treatment doesn't work then consult you doctor and go for surgery if required.