Effective Natural Remedies for Hair Follicle Cysts

| Modified on Jun 05, 2023

Every day, many individuals search for natural solutions to common health issues. One such concern is hair follicle cysts, also known as sebaceous cysts or epidermoid cysts. These are non-cancerous bumps beneath the skin, often resulting from swollen hair follicles. They can appear anywhere on the body where hair grows but are most commonly found on the scalp, face, and neck. Though typically harmless, these cysts can sometimes become uncomfortable and aesthetically displeasing.

This article explores several top natural remedies for hair follicle cysts, focusing on holistic and home treatment options.


Turmeric is a highly regarded spice in the field of natural remedies, primarily due to its active ingredient, curcumin. Curcumin possesses powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can aid in reducing inflammation associated with hair follicle cysts.

To use turmeric for this purpose, you can make a paste by mixing turmeric powder with water or honey until it forms a thick consistency. Apply this paste directly to the cyst and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.

Additionally, incorporating turmeric into your diet can support your overall health due to its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Just taking a turmeric supplement daily can quickly heal a hair follicle cyst, according to our readers.


Zinc is an essential mineral for our bodies, playing a crucial role in numerous biological functions, including supporting skin health and wound healing. Its potent anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation and swelling associated with hair follicle cysts.

Topically, zinc can be used in the form of creams or lotions. Zinc-based creams can potentially soothe the skin and promote the healing of hair follicle cysts. Always patch-test any new topical product on a small area of skin before applying it to the affected area.

Dietary zinc is another essential aspect to consider. Foods rich in zinc include oysters, lean meats, poultry, beans, nuts, and whole grains. Incorporating these foods into your diet can support overall skin health and may help prevent the occurrence of skin conditions such as hair follicle cysts.

Warm Compress

A warm compress is one of the easiest and most effective natural remedies for hair follicle cysts. The heat helps increase blood circulation, promoting healing and helping the cyst to drain naturally. Soak a clean cloth in warm water, wring it out, and then place it on the cyst for 10-15 minutes a few times daily. Be sure not to apply too much pressure, which could lead to further irritation.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera, renowned for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties, is a great natural solution for hair follicle cysts. Applying pure Aloe Vera gel to the affected area can soothe inflammation and expedite healing. Ensure you use a product with a high concentration of Aloe Vera to benefit from its full healing potential.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree oil, extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, is another widely recognized natural remedy. Its potent antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties can assist in reducing swelling and preventing infection. To use, dilute a few drops of tea tree oil with carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil, and apply it to the cyst.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been lauded for its health benefits and antimicrobial properties. It can aid in killing bacteria that might exacerbate the cyst and helps balance the skin’s pH. To utilize this remedy, soak a cotton ball in diluted apple cider vinegar and apply it to the cyst, then cover with a bandage.

Castor Oil

Used in traditional medicine, castor oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and discomfort associated with hair follicle cysts. Applying a small amount of the oil to the cyst and covering it with a warm cloth can help alleviate symptoms.

Dietary Changes

Dietary changes can also make a difference. Consuming a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and staying hydrated can promote overall skin health and potentially prevent the formation of hair follicle cysts. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains in your diet.

Precautionary Note

While these natural remedies can alleviate symptoms and potentially speed up the healing process, they aren't a guaranteed cure. Hair follicle cysts that persist, grow in size, or become painful may need medical intervention. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.

In conclusion, while hair follicle cysts can be a source of discomfort, natural remedies can provide relief and promote healing. With patience, persistence, and proper care, you can manage and potentially prevent the occurrence of these cysts.

Continue reading below to learn which remedies helped Earth Clinic readers with hair follicle cysts!

Related Links:

Natural Remedies for Folliculitis

Alkalize pH, Water With Sea Salt

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Karen (Peekskill, NY) on 11/14/2006

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!

Replied by Ted
(Bangkok, Thailand)
391 posts

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.

Replied by Bob
(Chicago, Il)

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.

Tea Tree Oil

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Emarie (Indianola, Wa, Usa) on 09/22/2009

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.

Replied by Jo

I have been putting a few drops of tea tree oil on a cotton pad on to two cysts on my scalp over the last week before bed. I have had them for many years and was told by a doctor that they were cysts. They have been growing in size bit by bit, one now much bigger than a pea and very hard. After a week of applying tea tree oil once a day and not every day - when I remember basically- they have both decreased in size. Amazing!

Replied by Jan

I see that this is a rather old conversation but I had to share my story. about 4 months ago I had a sebaceous cyst at the bra line on my left side. It had grown over the years to the size of a 50 cent piece. It never hurt but it looked really bad. The dermatologist diagnosed it so I was not worried about it beyond how it looked. One day it started hurting. And this kept up for a few weeks. when I read the cures on this page, I decided to try tea tree oil on the cyst. While I expected it to diminish, it actually erupted and drained over the course of a week. It has since completely healed. I am grateful I did not have to pay to have it taken care of. Tea tree oil works!

Replied by Ernesto

Fortunately, I came across this website. I have a sebaceous cyst just below my left armpit. The surgeon says it's a sebaceous cyst and he has also his own at his back himself. Now, I am ordering tea tree oil and will see if it will do for me. Thanks.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ang (Pensacola, FL) on 06/05/2023

I had an infected hair follicle (folliculitis) and it spread to several other follicles creating a carbuncle. I drank turmeric in milk with honey (called "golden milk") to help it suppurate/come to a head and burst. I also made a paste of milk and turmeric to put on top of the carbuncle. Worked overnight.

Water and Stress Management

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Elle (China) on 04/04/2018

Water and Stress Management Only for Folliculitis Decalvans

Hi everyone. I hope that my story will help someone who also has Folliculitis Decalvans. I am a 35 year old female with a history of severe cystic facial acne which was treated with several courses of antibiotics, Accutane and Spirinolactone.

By the time I was 29, my facial acne had cleared up sufficiently, but then I started getting pustular bumps on my hairline which would come and go without any reason. At first I thought it was diet related, so I did an IgG food intolerance test which showed that I should eliminate certain foods such as almonds, egg whites etc ( my test did not show intolerance to wheat and dairy). Even though I eliminated these foods, I would still get regular 'flair ups' along the frontal lobe area of my hairline which would last for weeks. I also later cut out milk and and wheat, but I still got flair ups.

3 years ago, I had a very bad flair up, and I was diagnosed with Folliculitis Decalvans and my dermatologist prescribed me 20 mg Accutane to be taken daily for 2 months and then tapered off to twice a week, and then once a week if I felt the condition was managed. The dermatologist also told me that once the Accutane treatment was over, I could manage the outbreaks with topical antibiotic gels etc. I immediately researched this condition obsessively, and to my horror I discovered it was a rare disease, with no known cause, and that it was incurable!!!

The Accutane treatment worked super well, and I used it for 9 months. However when I stopped, the folliculitis came back after two months! I am a teacher, and the thought of my students seeing this condition on my hairline was so frightening, that I quickly went back on the Accutane 20mg once a week and to my relief the disease cleared up. I realized however that I could not take Accutane for the rest of my life to manage FD, so I stopped taking it in January 2018 and the disease came back after one month! I cut a fringe to hide the condition, and I decided to use alternative methods to handle it topically such as Manuka honey, vinegar, castor oil, tea tree oil, and turmeric powder. Here's what happened.

1. turmeric and castor oil paste made it worse!

2. Tea tree oil was an irritant and it made it worse.

3. Medicated shampoos made it worse

What helped?

1. Washing my hair with only water, dried up the patches and is clearing up the folliculitis

2. Dealing with my emotions and not suppressing it. Here's a life saving article:


3. Not actively inspecting the folliculitis areas on my scalp. I believe if we pay attention to something in our lives it becomes stronger. Thus 'ignoring' it and not 'feeding' it with my attention has helped it to go away

4. Loving myself because my body actually trying to heal itself. Not thinking negatively about the issue.

Looking back at when flair ups occurred, It usually happened during severe EMOTIONAL stress (fleeing from a war torn country in 2011, a traumatic motor cycle accident, stress at work, relationship stress). Inflammation (in our case a pustular scalp) happens when the body is trying to heal itself (from emotional or other related stress). Its not a bad thing. Healing can not take place without inflammation. Adding things on the part where the body is trying to heal may make the body attack itself to get rid of the foreign ointments or whatever. My FD is gone for now, but when it comes back I will keep on dealing with it the same way as I outlined above. I am not saying that ointments (natural or chemical) will not work for anyone. I would just like to share what worked for me, and I hope it helps someone too.

Replied by Elle
(The Netherlands)

Dear all,

Although I'm not convinced that wheat and milk causes FD, I'm convinced that cutting it out of my diet has helped in clearing the disease faster and will continue to cut out wheat for some time.

Further reading on heat/dampness and diet may be of help to some.