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!
Warning-this is gross, but honest!
Hi. I tried your remedy for plantar's worts (AC vinegar) and it worked like a charm. Thought I'd pass on something that worked very well for a large sebaceous cyst on my back. I put an equal mixture of Potassium Iodide and DMSO. I learned about it on Dr. Jonathan Wright's site. Basically, the DMSO carries Iodide into the skin, and the iodide itself eats up fatty material like the cyst. The cyst on my back was about 1' in diameter; thought I would need to have it cut out. But after putting this remedy on 2x/day for about 3 mo, the entire thing just disappeared! Hope others on your site can get such good results.