Last Modified on Jun 19, 2014
What Is a Hair Follicle Cyst?
The skin’s surface is covered in cells that are constantly being shed and regenerated. As these cells shed or fail to do so, some common skin issues can occur. A hair follicle cyst is one such issue that may arise from the incomplete shedding of the epidermis. Also known as an epidermoid cyst, these cysts are small bumps that develop beneath the skin at the site of a hair follicle.
Hair follicle cysts are relatively common and cause little medical concern. Nonetheless, these cysts may appear unsightly or cause slight discomfort. A hair follicle cyst appears as a small round cyst or bump that is easy to move with the finger. Such cysts are generally white to yellow in color but may appear darker in an individual with darker skin. The cysts range in size from ¼ inch to nearly 2 inches in diameter and can occur nearly anywhere on the body but are most common on the face, trunk, and neck. Hair follicle cysts often have a small central opening, which is the remnant of the hair follicle from which the cyst formed. If squeezed, the follicle may excrete a thick, white to yellowish cheesy material.
Generally speaking, hair follicle cysts form from a small blackhead stuck in the hair follicle. This plug or blockage may be caused by the abnormal exfoliation of dead skin, damage to the follicle, a ruptured sebaceous gland, developmental defect, or heredity. A cyst caused by blockage originating in the sebaceous gland is known as a sebaceous cyst rather than an epidermoid cyst.
Natural Cure for Hair Follicle Cysts
While surgery is often the typical route for treatment of hair follicle cysts, many natural options can be used to reduce the size of cysts and avoid surgical treatment. Zinc acetate, gluconate or citrate supplements reduce cyst size and inflammation. Likewise, vitamin E serves as an antioxidant to clear clogged glands when taken daily. Cleansing the sight with salt water and massaging it with tea tree oil should also help diminish the clog and cure the cyst.
[YEA] 11/14/2006: Karen from Peekskill, NY: "I have a question: recently I developed a little hair follicle cyst on my lower eyelid close to the tear duct. I would like to avoid surgery and wondered if there was a folk remedy you could recommend. Thank you for getting back to me!"Replies
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Karen: A hair follicle cyst is probably caused by a clogged sebaceous glands or overproduction of it, which resulted in inflammation. Normally surgery would be required, however a possibility exists to clear them by taking some zinc acetate (or gluconate or citrate) supplements for about a week. This will at least reduce such cyst and if inflammation no longer exists, the cyst might just disappear by itself. Also taking some vitamin E should raise the anti-oxidation to clear the clogged glands. Of course the zinc should be taken for at least a week.
Alkalizing will increase capillary circulation thus removing the clogged problems indirectly. The daily use of eye wash can help clean and perhaps might help clean the tiny clogged particle which is causing the condition. Try the simple remedy for about a month. It is necessary to follow he instructions of the eye wash as per instructions on the product you buy.
I once had a similar condition, but more like a inflammation around the similar area and was greatly helped with just the taking of zinc supplements. Sometimes taking aspirin also helped the circulation and thus reduces the inflammation without the need for surgery.
It must be noted that drinking plenty of water also helps, but add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt per one liter of water. The water you drink, whenever you add some sea salt will increase the antibiotic properties of water as salt, even a weak solution do help. "
[YEA] 04/09/2011: Bob from Chicago, Il replies: "I had a sebaceous cyst on my neck about an inch in diameter that was growing larger. I decided to lance it, but despite energetic squeezing some of the material was too hard to squeeze out. Fortunately, the sebum that came out did not smell badly so I assume it was not infected.
Then I tried the hot, moist washcloth method and added a heating pad to keep it hot (use a plastic bag between the washcloth and the heating pad to protect it from moisture). To my surprise the size of the cyst was reduced.
I kept up a 20 minute, twice daily application of moist heat and after two weeks the cyst has disappeared."
[YEA] 09/22/2009: Emarie from Indianola, Wa, Usa: "I had a large cyst on the back of my neck that had become painful when I turned my head. After three days of rubbing a drop or two of Tea Tree oil on it 3 or 4 times a day it became noticeably reduced in size. After two weeks it was completely gone. I have had subsequent sebaceous cysts on my scalp a few times that went away as well after using this oil."