Pilonidal Cyst: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Originally posted on September 21, 2022 @ 1:10 pm

It can quickly get infected, and the pilonidal cyst is typically found close to the tailbone.
Pain, reddish skin, or leakage of pus or blood are signs of an infected pilonidal cyst.

What is Pilonidal Cyst

An abnormal skin pocket known as a pilonidal cyst typically contains hair and skin fragments. A pilonidal cyst is almost always found near the tailbone at the apex of the cleft of the buttocks.

Hair that pierces the skin and becomes entrenched is the main cause of pillonidal cysts. The abscess that develops when a pilonidal cyst becomes infected is frequently very painful. Through a tiny incision, the cyst can either be surgically removed or drained.

Pilonidal cysts are most frequently found in young males, and they frequently come back. A pilonidal cyst is more likely to form in those who spend a lot of time sitting down, like truck drivers.

what is pilonidal cyst
what is pilonidal cyst

How Do Pilonidal Cysts Occur?

Cysts can develop at the coccyx, the base of the tailbone. It’s known as a pilonidal cyst, and pus can collect inside of it if it gets infected. Technically speaking, the condition is known as a “pilonidal abscess,” and it can be uncomfortable.

Your tailbone’s bottom appears to have a huge pimple on it. Men are more likely than women to experience it. Younger folks are typically more likely to experience it. One is more likely to be acquired by those who spend a lot of time sitting, such as truck drivers.

They are curable. Your doctor can perform surgery to remove the cyst if it becomes problematic or drain it.

Causes Pilonidal Cyst

Many of them, according to the majority of doctors, are caused by ingrown hairs. Pilonidal refers to a “nest of hair,” and sometimes a cyst’s interior contains hair follicles, as the name implies.

According to another notion, pilonidal cysts may develop following trauma to that area of your body.

Over 80,000 soldiers suffered from pilonidal cysts that required hospitalization during World War II. Due to the annoyance of riding in jerky Jeeps, people believed they were The ailment was formerly known as “Jeep sickness.”

If you had had a tiny dimple in the skin between your buttocks when you were a baby, you might have been more likely to develop one. Even though doctors don’t know exactly why, this dimple tends to get infected.

Additional risk factors include obesity, thick hair, little exercise, extended sitting, and heavy perspiration.

Symptoms of Pilonidal Cyst

A pilonidal cyst can cause the following symptoms:

  • At the base of the spine, there is pain, redness, and edema.
  • Blood or pus coming out of it
  • noxious pus odor
  • Softness to the touch
  • Fever

Their sizes can differ. Yours could be a tiny bump or a large sore spot.

When Do I Need to Call a Doctor if You Have Pilonidal Cyst?

what is pilonidal cyst
what is pilonidal cyst

An abscess or boil is a pilonidal cyst. Antibiotics, hot compresses, and lotions that remove hair topically are all possible forms of treatment. In more serious cases, it needs to be lanced or drained in order to heal. It does not get better with antibiotics like other boils.
Call your doctor if any of the symptoms appear.

Diagnosis of Pilonidal Cyst

A pilonidal cyst can be identified by your doctor through a physical examination and questions you provide about it. Some questions they might put to you include:

  • When did your symptoms start to show up?
  • Have you encountered this issue before?
  • Have you been feverish?
  • What prescription drugs or dietary supplements do you take?

What Can I do to Feel Better?

The redness, swelling, and pain of an infected pilonidal cyst may not be very severe at this stage. Consider trying some of the following:

  1. Spend some time in a warm bath to reduce any soreness. Your cyst could occasionally spontaneously crack open and drain in this manner.
  2. Utilize over-the-counter pain relievers but adhere to the dosage recommendations.
  3. Dry off and keep the area around the cyst clean.
what is pilonidal cyst
what is pilonidal cyst

Treatments Pilonidal Cyst

Pilonidal cysts can’t be treated with antibiotics. However, doctors have a wide range of options at their disposal. Here are some alternatives:

Incision and Drainage: For a first pilonidal cyst, incision and drainage is the recommended procedure. Your doctor drains the cyst by making an incision inside of it. In addition to removing all hair follicles, they leave the wound open and stuff it with gauze.

Advantage: Since just the area around the cyst is numbed, it is a quick treatment performed under local anaesthetic.

Disadvantages: You must frequently replace the gauze until the cyst heals, which could take up to three weeks.

During this surgery, your doctor makes a cut in the cyst and drains it, eliminating any hair and pus that may be present. To create a bag, the edges of the wound and the cut will be stitched together.

Benefits: This is a local anesthetic-outpatient procedure. You won’t need to remove and replace gauze every day since the doctor can make a smaller, shallower cut.

Marsupialization: You require a doctor who is properly skilled in the technique, and the healing process takes roughly 6 weeks.

The cyst is drained using this approach, but it is not left open. Incision, drainage, and wound closure.

Advantage: You don’t need to pack gauze because your surgeon will completely close the incision as soon as the surgery is through.

Disadvantages: You’re more prone to experiencing cyst-related issues in the future. This procedure makes it more difficult to completely remove the cyst. Typically, a properly trained surgeon performs it in an operating room.

The pilonidal sinus tracts can also be removed, the cyst and its wall can be cut out completely, fibrin glue can be used, and punch biopsies can be used to remove the cyst and any sick tissue around it.

READ ALSO Kidney Stone Surgery: How to Get Rid of Kidney Stones Easily

After surgery

If you need to remove and pack gauze, pay close attention to your doctor’s at-home care recommendations. Added advice

  • Try to keep the space tidy.
  • Look out for any new infection symptoms, including pain, pus, or redness.
  • Keep all of your follow-up appointments to allow your doctor to monitor the progress of your cyst’s healing.

NOTE Although a complete recovery is possible, keep in mind that pilonidal cysts might reappear even after being medically removed.

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