Cysts are abnormal, saclike structures containing fluids, semisolids or gas. They vary in size and can manifest anywhere in your body. While some cysts are visible and palpable, cysts affecting internal organs such as the kidneys and liver can only be detected through imaging tests. According to MedicineNet, the treatment for cysts is dependent upon their cause, size and location in your body, and may necessitate surgical removal or drainage in severe cases. Yet, you can treat many benign cysts with home remedies to encourage natural drainage, reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
A chalazion, also known as a “meibomian” cyst, affects your upper or lower eyelid. This inflammation occurs because of a blockage in the drainage duct of the eyelid’s oil gland. Treat your infected eyelid with a warm compress to increase blood flow to the area, reduce swelling and encourage drainage from the cyst. Place a warm, damp towel on your eyelid for at least five minutes, four times a day. Gently massage the area around your eyelid with your fingertips several times during the day, and carefully clean it with a baby shampoo once daily until the infection ceases.
Also known as a “popliteal” cyst, a Baker’s cyst is a fluid-filled swelling that affects the area around the knee. A problem with your knee joint or its connective tissues such as a cartilage tear or arthritis can lead to this painful condition, which worsens when you flex your knee. Rest your knee as often as possible by elevating it, and minimize physical activity to prevent pain in the knee joint. Place an ice pack on the affected area to reduce swelling. Wrap compression bandages around your knee to provide support for your knee joint. Relieve knee pain with over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin.
A Bartholin’s cyst affects women and results in an accumulation of pus in either of the Bartholin’s glands, which are located on each side of your vaginal opening. Relieve the discomfort associated with small Bartholin cysts by taking sitz baths until you experience relief. Half-fill a tub with warm water and sit in it three times a day to encourage the cyst to drain.
Generally prevalent in men rather than in women, a pilonidal cyst occurs at the base of the tailbone. The cyst forms a pus-filled abscess that resembles a pimple, and depending upon the severity of the symptoms, may be accompanied by fever, pain or inflammation around the base of the spine. Prevent the pilonidal cyst from growing and alleviate the pain by taking warm baths until your condition improves. Control the pain and inflammation with OTC pain-relieving medications.
References and ResourcesMedicineNet: What Is a Cyst?
MedlinePlus: A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine: Baker’s cyst -- Treatment
MedlinePlus: A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine: Chalazion (Lump in Eyelid)
Mayo Clinic: Baker’s cyst
MedlinePlus: A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine: Bartholin’s abscess
ResourcesMedscape: Cutaneous Columnar Cysts
Mayo Clinic: Bartholin’s cyst
WebMD: Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center
FreeMD: Plinodial Abscess -- Home Care