Thank you for this, Pheobe. I had a Bartholin's Cyst 6 years ago. I was perscribed Antibiotics and it eventually went away. Unfortunately, last week after having intercourse I developed a cyst that quickly turned into an abscess. It was painful and debilitating. For a few days, I couldn't walk or sit without it bothering me.
Just last night, it spontaneously burst. It seriously has been the most relief I've ever felt because prior to it bursting, the pain was unbearable. I was woken up at 3am by it and couldn't go back to sleep for 2 hours. It was a very intense burning pain from the inside out. I was about to go to the ER when it burst. My abscess was skin deep and did not come to a head. It burst from the inside. Other than fuicidin cream that was perscribed to me, I didn't take any oral Antibiotics for my abscess. Instead, after researching on the net here's what I did for a week:
Sitz Baths with Epsom Salts 3-4 times/day
If you don't have a bathtub, you can buy a sitz bath at your local drugstore which is placed over your toilet. I sat in my baths 3-4 times a day, 30mins - 1 hour each.
Pheobe's Method 2-3 times/day
Warning: some may have more sensitivity than others to Tea Tree Oil. It can feel like a burning sensation on your skin. Try 1/2 a teaspoon first and move up to 1 teaspoon if you don't feel a reaction.
Hot Compresses - as much as possible
Keep a warm compress on your cyst as much as possible through out the day. Heat will slow down the pus/mucus production in your cyst and may even keep the trapped liquid from getting too thick. A heat pad works best, wrap in it a thin clean cotton shirt so you don't expose your skin to synthetic materials like plastics/rubber.
Drank garlic tea 1-2 times/day
Garlic is a natural antibiotic. Although garlic tea doesn't sound appetizing, I was desperate. Cut up 3-4 cloves and boil them.
The night my abscess burst, I rotated a hot compress with a cold compress. This may have also helped it happen because I've read other women say that they did this as well before it burst. During my week (where I was mostly in bed with a compress), I spent a lot of time reading every single forum/website I could on Bartholin's Cysts. I hope all of my collected info can help you out.