Natural Treatment for Pilonidal Cysts

| Modified on Jun 30, 2021
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A pilonidal cyst is a round pocket in your skin, typically filled with air or fluid. It is a very common condition. Natural treatments can often help heal the cyst, especially if applied before the cyst becomes an infected abscess.

The cyst is almost always located near the tailbone at the top of the crease in the buttocks. They are usually caused when hair punctures the skin and then becomes embedded.

Friction on the ingrown hair from sitting for long hours or wearing tight clothing can cause a cyst to form.

Who Gets Pilonidal Cysts?

Anyone can get a cyst, however some people are at a higher risk for developing them, including:

  • People who sit all day long.
  • People who are overweight or obese.
  • People who wear tight clothing that rubs against their spine.
  • Those with thick body hair.
  • Men are 3-4 times more likely to develop a cyst. [1]

Natural Treatments for a Pilonidal Cysts

Pilonidal cysts can become infected if not treated properly, turning into an incredibly painful abscess.

A doctor will typically drain the cyst by making a small incision or removing it surgically.  There are a few home remedies that can help relieve pain and itching from the cyst.

Hot Compress

Apply a hot compress to the cyst a few times a day. The compress can either be from hot water, or a clay pack that you heat up in the microwave. Not only will the heat help ease pain, it can also help pull out any pus from the cyst, thus allowing it to drain.

Sitz Bath

Taking a warm, shallow bath (called a sitz bath) can often help relieve pain and itching from a pilonidal cyst.


Fill your bathtub with 3-4 inches of warm water. Make sure it's not too hot to burn or cause discomfort.

Soak for at least 15 minutes, trying to keep your legs out of the bath water. The idea is to have warm water cleansing only the perineum (the space between the rectum and the scrotum or vulva). You can either dangle your legs over the side of the tub, or bend your knees.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a very helpful treatment for pilonidal cysts. Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which helps reduce pain and inflammation and can prevent bacteria growth that can make the infection worse and delay healing.

External Instructions

  • Mix 2 teaspoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar, raw and organic if possible, in ½ cup of purified water. 
  • Soak a cotton ball in the ACV solution and place it directly on the cyst for 1 minute.
  • Repeat 4 times daily for 3 days.

Internal Instructions

  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of organic and raw apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm filtered water.
  • Stir well and drink slowly.
  • You can drink this tonic once in the morning and once in the late afternoon.

Castor Oil

Castor oil is one of the post popular remedies on Earth Clinic for cysts and tumors. Its anti-inflammatory properties will help reduce inflammation and ease the pain from pilonidal cysts.


  • Soak a cotton ball in slightly warmed castor oil.
  • Apply it to the cyst and secure with a bandage.
  • Reapply a freshly soaked cotton ball and new bandage 2 or 3 times per day.
  • Continue until the cyst heals.

When to Seek Medical Attention

You should immediately go to the doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms after the cyst forms:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Increasing pain when sitting
  • Fluid draining from an abscess (blood or pus, which may be foul-smelling)


Home treatments can frequently relieve the pain and discomfort from a pilonidal cyst.

To prevent cysts from forming again in the future, it is advised to avoid sitting for too long.  Finally, if you are prone to getting these cysts, make sure to keep the area on and above your buttocks clean and free from hair.

Continue reading to learn what Earth Clinic readers suggest to get rid of pilonidal cysts. Oregano oil, a natural antibacterial. is reported to be very effective when combined with coconut oil.

Related Links:

Hidradenitis Suppurativa


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ignacio (El Monte, California) on 01/09/2021
5 out of 5 stars

Pilonidal Cyst :

Regarding the cysts on the butt checks. I got like a pimple on top of my butt checks, right inside the fold. I used DMSO straight. By next day the inflammation had gone down by 70%. 2nd day I put some more and it was gone. I used the 99.9% and a sandwich bag to cover my hand.

Green Clay Poultices

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by mmsg (somewhere, europe) on 12/22/2020
5 out of 5 stars

Pilonidal Cyst

Oh, so that's what it's called. When I saw that on a child, I treated it with small poultices of green clay until it drained and disappeared.

Oregano and Tea Tree Oils

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by jobieadobe (Ohio) on 12/21/2020
5 out of 5 stars

I noticed Pilonidal Cysts aren't listed as an ailment. Could you please consider making pilonidal cysts their own category as they are a unique kind of cyst. They are cysts that appear right in the top of the butt cheeks and can create tunnels. This area is very hard to heal with the way the skin folds and comes together. Doctors have not come up with a good way to operate in this type of cyst and it can take months if not years to heal from surgery.

My wife was plagued by hers for years! Just when she started to consider surgery, I found a super simple remedy.

One teaspoon coconut oil with a few drops of oregano and tea tree oil.

All you have to do is rub a tiny bit of the oil into the "pits" of the cyst at night. The weeks before she had tons of pain, bloody puss and swelling and THE DAY AFTER applying these oils she had relief and the day after that it felt 99% better.

And several others have reported the same thing. We apply a small amount every night (making sure not to allow any to run into the anal area as oregano and tea tree will burn those areas).

I was told the oregano oil is the most important part and has to be high quality. So we bought the highest quality one we could find online. It's worth it as it lasts a long time and we're still on the first bottle.

Also I add a drop of oregano and tea tree to the mixture every week to keep it fresh. It's been a year or two and she hasn't had a single flare up!! You might want to wait till a flare up has subsided before trying this but as I said my wife was in a long flare up and we put this just in the pits and not in the cyst itself and it did wonders. The world needs to know about this!!!

EC: Thank you for the suggestion! New section created.

Witch Hazel, Castor Oil, Manuka

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by M (NY) on 06/30/2021
5 out of 5 stars

I got a pilonidal cyst and saw blood on toilet paper and felt around and found what felt like a hole. After doing some research I bought witch hazel wipes which I used every time I went to the bathroom to make sure I was cleaned.

After every shower, I would soak a square cotton pad with rubbing alcohol and hold it there until the harsh stinging wasn't so bad. Then I would put a tiny amount of castor oil and place that between my buttocks until the next time I went to the bathroom or shower. I always had a pad with castor oil on it after cleaning. Sometimes I would sit on the heating pad. I was embarrassed and disgusted so I didn't tell anyone. Bright green pus would occasionally be on the castor oil cotton pad and sometimes hair but after two weeks it didn't sting anymore. I put the honey cream to close up the hole which it did. I think total healing time was close to a month so don't give up. It will go away