Over the last year or two I've developed almost a dozen cysts on my scalp (they run in my family, unfortunately). They're all quite small but very firm to the touch (pilar cysts?), and a couple of them bother me when I lie down so I'd like to get rid of them if possible.

I can't afford to have them excised by a private doctor, and the NHS won't pay for it as they class it as 'cosmetic'. I've read in several places (including the NHS website) that hot compresses can encourage the contents of the cyst to drain away and heal. Is this true?

If so, how often and for how long should I apply the compress? And does the compress need to be wet?