Skin Cyst: Home Treatment
An epidermal (skin) cyst is a small, round lump in the top layer of skin called the epidermis. It may be filled with a soft, yellow substance called keratin. Skin cysts most often appear on the face, ears, back, or chest. But they can appear on almost any part of the body.
When you have a skin cyst, the lump or bump under the skin is:
- Small, round, and smooth.
- About the size of a pea, or a little smaller or larger.
- Yellow, white, or skin-colored. It can turn red if it becomes inflamed.
- Painless. But it can be painful if it's inflamed.
Home treatment for a lump such as an epidermal (skin) cyst may relieve symptoms but may not make the cyst go away.
Here are some tips for treating a lump that may be caused by infection under the skin.
- Do not squeeze, scratch, drain, open (lance), or puncture the lump.
Doing this can irritate or inflame the lump, push any existing infection deeper into the skin, or cause severe bleeding.
- Keep the area clean.
Wash the lump and surrounding skin well with soap.
- Apply warm, wet washcloths to the lump for 20 to 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day.
- If you prefer, you can also use a hot water bottle or heating pad over a damp towel.
- Be careful not to burn your skin. Do not use water that is warmer than bath water.
- Apply a bandage.
If the lump begins to drain pus, apply a bandage to keep the draining material from spreading. Change the bandage daily. If a large amount of pus drains from the lump, or the lump becomes more red or painful, you may need to see a doctor.
Current as of:
March 22, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
David Messenger MD - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine
Current as of: March 22, 2023
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & David Messenger MD - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine