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Q&a sebaceous cysts

MagazineNovember 2005 (Vol. 16 Issue 8)Q&a sebaceous cysts

Doctors fail to make the connection between cysts on the face and pituitary imbalances, according to our panel member, naturopath Dr Harald Gaier

Doctors fail to make the connection between cysts on the face and pituitary imbalances, according to our panel member, naturopath Dr Harald Gaier. In his practice, it is common to see women with facial cysts having corresponding ovarian cysts. You may wish to have an ultrasound scan done to determine whether you're also suffering from an ovarian cyst.

Dr Gaier's treatment of choice is to regulate the pituitary using a tincture of Vitex agnus castus (chasteberry). Take 10-15 drops per day in a little water, preferably first thing in the morning. It may take up to seven or eight weeks for the body to reabsorb the cyst, says Dr Gaier. If you have a corresponding ovarian cyst, it will take up to nine months for the herb to dissolve it.

Another possibility is acupuncture. According to London acupuncturist Adrian Stoddard, a tried-and-tested treatment is by 'star points' - encircling the cyst with deeply embedded acupuncture needles, which will speed up the process of cyst reabsorption.

If you opt for attempting to expel the cyst, there are lots of home remedies and self-help treatments to try, although none has been tested scientifically to see if it works.

* Apply benzoyl peroxide. If your doctor is of the older generation, he may opt for the topical application of this good old-fashioned treatment. But do a patch-test first - a sudden reddening of the skin is the tell-tale sign that you are sensitive to this chemical.

* Make a herbal poultice, using wheatgrass or plantain. Put the herbs in a blender, mix with honey, spread it over the cyst, cover with a piece of plastic wrap, and leave on overnight.

* Apply warm, wet washcloths (or a hot-water bottle of bath-water temperature wrapped in a damp towel) to the cyst for up to 30 minutes, three or four times a day. This will increase blood circulation to the area, and can also bring an infection to a head, although it may take up to seven days of treatment to do this.

* Take homoeopathy. Silicea is an excellent remedy for expelling cysts, especially in combination with Echinacea, which treats the contents. Try one dose of 200X Silicea, and see if the cyst starts to open. Try again after a week if nothing has happened, followed by one dose of homoeopathic Echinacea 200X every day for three days. If the cyst becomes red and inflamed, you can increase the dose to three times a day for two days.

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