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Sebaceous Cysts Home Remedy Comments

62 Comments for the Sebaceous Cysts Home Remedy


Warning-this is gross, but honest!
5 (nearly 6)years ago I noticed a hard, pea-sized lump on the side of my breast, near my cleavage. I went to the doctor and he said, 'Oh, that's just a sub-dermal scar.' I've had a couple of mamograms over the years, the last one just a year ago. My mamograms came back fine and I figured it was just a scar that kept getting bigger under my skin. Over the past year I noticed that it seemed to be growing rapidly and felt to be about the size of a walnut. There was never a head on it and it wasn't sensitive/sore. One time I was squeezing it and a small amount of clear oil came out and it stunk! I did some research and determined it must be a sebaceous cyst. I made an appointment with a dermatologist (will be going in a few days) but heard about Ichthammol ointment and noticed quite a few posts online about people using it to treat their sebaceous cysts. I bought some (Walgreen's) and applied some before bed the night before last and put a bandage over it. It looks like tar and has an unpleasant odor, but I decided to give it a try because this big lump started to get a little sensitive this week and it was beginning to show when I wore some t-shirts that were fitted. SO, I decided I was going to take care of this beast myself-or at least satisfy my curiosity about what was inside it and whether it was really a sebaceous cyst. I tried once, over the last year, to poke it with a needle and I never did get anything out of it. I realize why, now. Anyhow, I applied the Ichthammol and a bandage and slept. Yesterday morning there didn't seem to be a great deal of difference. Perhaps it was a bit less inflamed. Other stories I read indicated that it takes a few days to work. I became impatient. I dampened a wash cloth and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds and applied it as hot as I could stand it several times. I don't know if the hot compress helped much either, but it did seem to at least soften the skin. I didn't really anticipate getting anything out of this cyst, because it felt quite hard when I touched it-very dense. Boy was I surprised. After applying the wash cloth I squeezed the bump and really saw nothing other than some clear fluid coming from a few pores. I squeezed with a bit more force and felt like I'd hit the jackpot when some repulsively thick, smelly white stuff appeared. I squeezed a bit more and a little bit exploded out. That was when I decided I'd better go outside to the back patio if I was really going to make an earnest effort to get this crap out. I went outside, squeezed harder and it more gunk shot out, across the patio. I decided it would be safest to stand on the edge of the patio and direct this thing towards a section of my yard that is gravel. When I squeezed harder a thick stream of the white gunk shot across the gravel. It honestly looked the way it does when someone shoots silly string. Long thick strings shooting out. I couldn't believe it! Sorry for being graphic, but it looked and smelled exactly like ricotta cheese! So much for that lasagna I was going to bake. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to consume ricotta cheese again. After a while it wasn't coming out as easily. I remembered reading a few posts where people put vinegar on their lumps and I also remembered that vinegar has anti-bacterial properties. I also seemed to remember that vinegar can break down fat. SO, I poured some vinegar into a cup. I had some small syringes left from years ago when I had to inject blood thinners. Just small diabetic syringes. I was kind of chicken but decided to give it the ol' Girlscout try. I filled the syringe with vinegar and bravely stuck it into the middle of this lump. It, surprisingly, didn't hurt. I guess the inside of the lump was hollow and just filled with the 'ricotta,' (sorry...haha) because when the needle was in I could actually move it around a bit and it didn't hurt. Anyhow, the vinegar didn't hurt and really seemed to help me get all of the crap out of there. The stuff that came out was really dense and I honestly got at least 1/4-1/2 cup of the junk out. I kept filling the syringe and injecting the cyst with it and then squeezing it out. Kind of 'rinsing' it out. After a while it seemed like I'd gotten everything I could out of it. Instead of getting white stuff I ended up getting only vinegar and clearish-yellowish-pinkish fluid (sebum or oil?)when I expressed the contents. I finally decided I had put myself through enough torture and decided to let this thing rest a bit and allow any irritation I caused with vigorous squeezing (I had to do it really hard) to go down. Although I went through an entire box of tissues and a dozen cotton balls soaked in alcohol I ended up with slumps of the smelly, cheesy crap all over me. Next stop-a hot shower. The smell of soap was heavenly after exposing myself to an hour or two of nastiness. After I got out of the shower and did my regular routine (dried off, put on anti-perspirant and lotion) and put a big glob of neosporin on 'the beast' (Which now feels like a kernel of corn rather than something between a walnut and golf ball) and put a big band aid on it. 4-5 hours later, as I was getting ready for bed I decided to check and see if anything else had been or would come out of it. When I pulled the big bandage off I noticed some evidence of 'ricotta' mixed with the neosporin. After my earlier experience I knew I should be armed with tissues before even messing with the beast. I squeezed it and held a tissue in front. I couldn't believe how much more junk I got out! It was less work-it just seemed to want out this time. Instead of a thick stream (like silly string) it ended up being a finer stream (more like the diameter of twine)...but still thick and dense. I got about 4 teaspoon fulls of the junk out. I did a bit more of the vinegar injection thing and was satisfied when I only got vinegar back out. I, once again, globbed on neosporin and put a big bandage on it and went to sleep. I'm happy to report, today, that it is not draining. I was curious to see if there was more 'ricotta' this morning, before I cleaned it with alcohol and applied a new bandage. I only got some clear blister fluid! The ordeal was quite an experience. I can't believe I had all of that junk in my body! I'm sure many of you will freak out about my methods of treating myself. I don't claim to be an expert and I'm certainly not a doctor. I'm surprised that I'm not sore or swollen today. There's no longer an obvious lump, and if I feel where 'the beast' was it now feels about the size of a kernel of corn. I suspect the lump is either scar tissue or maybe the 'sack' I've seen people say needs to come out. In any case, I have an appointment with a dermatologist in 2 days and I'll request that he explore and make sure there's no 'sack' in there, and also ask him to take out the little lump. One word of advice-unless you have a very strong stomach don't do this yourself! I thought it would be gross, but the experience was honestly the nastiest thing I have ever witnessed or been through. I got curious and impatient. I guess I got my answer and some resolution...but you might just want to wait and go to the doctor!

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Mine is on my hip near my upper butt. This has been an ongoing thing for me for the last 15 years or so. I can tell when it gets hard that it's time to express the content of the cyst, or whatever it is. To me it seems like all the impurities gather at that one spot and desire to come out. Use gloves, protective eye wear, and a painter's mask. I arm myself with a bottle of alcohol and a bag of cotton balls. After I am done getting all the ricotta cheese out of that spot... I put a cotton ball that has alcohol on it and a bandaid over the cotton ball. If it fills up slightly overnight, I simply squeeze until empty and put a new alcohol cotton ball on it. The alcohol tends to dry it out. I don't recommend for myself, to put anything gooey on it! My returns usually after 6 months. I am grateful it is not on my face. Good luck and see a doctor if you're not sure what it is.


I have one on my back that oozes smelly watery liquid since i squeeezed all the cheese out.


I had a very similar experience. About 2 months ago I had a abscess on my lower calf I believe from an ingrown hair. After the brutal pain of the abscess getting bigger and bigger and extremely sore I was getting out of the shower and drying myself off when I noticed some brownish liquid on my towel. I looked down at my leg and thankfully it had opened. I didnt go to see a doctor which I probably should have but me being in the medical field I felt I knew what I was dealing with and what to look for if the infection was getting worse or better. The process of it draining and healing was a pretty long ordeal. I kept it covered 95\% of the time with neosporen and changed the bandage 3 times a day. SOmtimes more in the beginning due to the drainage. So it has been a good 2 months sice it has been fully healed. Ever since it started healing I've noticed a little hard lump maybe the size of a peaon the top side of where the abscess had opened. Me being the type of person that I am, I kept messing with it and trying to pick at it. Well finally today I gave it a good squeeze after picking at it for 20 minutes and pulling what I thought was dry skin off and like what has been previously described on here a ricotta cheese stringy looking gunk came shooting out of my leg. It wasn't wet or slimy or anything like that. Mine also didn't have an oder like others have explained. Yes, I know for a fact cause that was the first thing I did after squeezing it was smell the ricotta chesse that came shooting out of my calf. Now prior to me popping this cyst it didn'y hurt or anything and wasn't swollen or discolored in anyway. It was just simply a little hard lump the size of a pea. I did have an awful lot of dischage from such a small lump. Not sure if it all has come out or not but the lump is definatly gone now. So I have cleaned the area and my hand very well and applied some neosporen again but this time I am not putting a bandaide over it cause I want it to dry out and if I keep it covered its just going to stay moist, which when I had the abscess draining I wanted it to stay open to continue to drain so the bandage worked wonders. So i will be interested to see what is to come of this on my calf now. Thanks to this post I now know what the proper name of this disgusting thing is! lol I'm really hoping that I don't form another lump cause I didn't like the looks of what I said to my fiance at first was maggits coming out of me. Pretty disgusting yes but if you have ever experienced this you will totally be ble to relate. So good luck to anyone going through this same type of situation. My word of advice woulld be to always make sure your using excellent hygiene when dealing with something like this or an abscess cause it is already an infection! Also pay close attention to the wound area and the color around the area. If you notice that it is red around your wound and traveling up then do not mess around go and be seen by a doctor. Also to if you are having any type of a fever. Other then that its nothing that has killed a few of us clearly cause we are sharing our disguting experience with all of you. Best of luck!


Don't smoke meth.


I have some cysts in an embarrassing place about the size of a small pea. I have had them surgically removed before but others have grown. Having read your procedure how to you get the cyst to open to drain?

Kay G. Gahanna Ohio

YEP! When I first noticed the one I had in the center of my lower back just above my buttocks, it was about the size of a dime - raised but sort of flat. I showed it to my husband & he was brave & curious enough to take me into our barhroom to try to figure out what it was. As I leaned over the sink, he - equipped with his readers & an alcohol pad- began to push it around with his fingers. Much to his/my surprize, he gave it a hard squeeze & a large smount of grossly smelly brown string-like gunk exploded onto his cheek! After removing the awful stuff from his face, he preceded with more caution by covering the lump with a tissues and kept on sqeezing. He reminded me of a mad scientist as he relentlessly squeezed that thing while strings of smelly stuff collected on the tissue! After about 15 minutes the stuff was completely gone and he cleaned the area with alcohol. We have repeated this ritual countless times over the past 12 years on about an annual basis. I'm glad to say that the size has been much smaller each time now (about pea sized) & now we know what we're dealing with thanks to your article - thank you for sharing! Because of it, I will make a trip to the derms to atrange it's removal :)


I've had a few issues with cysts/abcess or whatever you want to name them. Mainly on my legs. I'd be careless with shaving, rushing and with a dull blade would tear up my skin and I would end up with a sore spot then it would develop into a puss bump and get worse. Several time I ended up in the ER to relieve them because they would get so swollen against the calf muscle I almost couldn't walk. The process in the WE is poking the tender spot with a syringe then slicing it open with a blade and pushing it all out. Stuff it full of gauze then patch it. I was send home with antibiotics and more gauze I would have to change out with the old one. Only to be left with an ugly scar that looked like a chicken pock scar. I felt There had to be another way. I got some information from a friend who worked in the medical unit at a jail. He sees these things a lot so I asked him if there is any care to help reduce or avoid them. He said buy what is called Hibiclense. Its an antiseptic wash. Once every three months in the shower after you have washed your hair and body, use this stuff over your arms, legs, back, neck and chest. It also helps rid body odor though that not a problem for me. Just dont out put it close to your eyes and no where near your private parts. If you see a small pimple forming on your shoulder or etc. Use this cleanser on that region ASAP. It helps reduce it a lot and helps keep it from getting bigger/infected but if it's past that point use the ichthammol ointment with gauze and proper tape to hold it in place. I change mine twice a day but i keep it there till the head forms enough and becomes soft. One you are able to push junk out till you see just blood and clear fluid. Clean the area and wipe with alcohol then repeat the process till the hole becomes no longer visible. If you keep using the ichthammol this way you won't be left with a scar on your skin and it reassures on getting it all out. You won't me left with a mini hard spot. I had a hard pea size spot on my cheek for 15 years now. It never once acted or appears as a pimple just a hard not that appeared and stayed. Just this week it started to get red, irritated, sensitive and grow a bit in size. So i rinsed the area with some of the hibicleanse then put some ichthammol on some gauze with tape over it, over night. In the morning I removed and cleaned it and dressed it again. This evening I pulled it off to clean and repeat when I noticed a head. I began to squeeze, with tissue paper wrapped around my fingers and a burst of white junk came out. I quickly tossed the tissue paper away, wrapped more around my fingers and pushed some more. I knew that hard spot had been there for years and there was no one only so much had been hidden in there. I kid you not I pushed out about 10 years worth of what looked like junk that comes out of whiteheads. Wish I could of filmed it, I had never had so much junk come out of such a small spot. Finally just blood mixed with clear fluid came up so I have cleaned it and dressed it again with ichthammol because I don't want this spot to scar when it's on my face. I know that this process will shrink it to pretty much looking as if nothing had ever been there. Hope this helps other's in search of some be relief. A few friends, who I have shared this info with once I learned they had a few before, have all thanked me. I use to get these things once every three months and now that I use that cleanser I maybe get one a year and if I get them the process to take care of it without scars is easy. Best of luck.


Omg...i thought i was the only person who had this....pretty much same story..i thought for 4 yrs it was a pimple that wont go away...but couldnt explain the amount or smell or texture that was comn im releaved to no there is an actual name for this!!


I just had a similar experience with a cyst on my shoulder. I am just at the stringy stage but did just put neosporin on before I read your experience. I do plan on insisting with the dermatologist to clean it out. Thanks for you for your accurate description of what seems to be more common than one might think.


I have worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner since early 2002. I have seen sebaceous cysts in all sizes and ion pretty much all the areas of the body. I had to laugh so hard about the "ricotta" cheese but I would have to say that is about the best layman' description for it. The smell of these can range from foul smelling to the smell of death! I few times I have gagged when performing an incision and drainage on an inflamed cyst. My funniest story involves a husband/wife that had come in. I was seeing the wife for some chronic health prioblems and before they left, her husband asked me if I would look at something on his back real quick. It was a "small" sebaceous cyst and it actually had a black head on the center of it. I told him that it would be easy to open and I used 2 tongue depressors, one on each side like the old fingernail method that most use to get the black plug in the skin pore to loosen and get it pressed out. Luckily I was standing to the side if him(a habit I learned the hard way). Once the head of that cyst came out, the floodgates opened and it shot the "ricotta" across the room about 8 feet and got all over the floor, a sitting bench and the worst, all in the mini blinds on the window. Try as I did, I could not get that stink out of the exam room for a couple hours. Took 2 staff scrubbing and mopping it down to get that stink out. Every time I think back on that, I chuckle.

For larger cysts, most need surgically removed. Think of them like a small water balloon,(or ricotta balloon). If you stick a pin or a scalpel into the cyst, it ruptures it and you can express the drainage out, but it doesn't take your body much time to put the balloon back together and refill it. Getting the balloon out is the definitive treatment.

Thanks for the morning chuckle! Happy New Year to All!

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