Tips for Health

What is a Pilonidal Cyst?

By on June 28, 2012 in Diseases, Health with 0 Comments


What is a pilonidal cyst?

A pilonidal cyst is a small bag inside the skin that is located generally near the coccyx, at the top of the crease of the buttocks. Pilonidal means “nest of hair.” A pilonidal cyst may contain hair, skin fragments and other abnormal tissue.

Anyone can have a pilonidal cyst, but it is most common in young men.

What are the symptoms of a pilonidal cyst?

A pilonidal cyst may have no symptoms other than a small dent or dimple in the skin. However, sometimes, a pilonidal cyst can become infected. When this happens, the cyst can become a painful abscess: a bag full of swollen and inflamed pus (a thick liquid whitish yellow). Rarely, an infected pilonidal cyst can cause fever.

What is the cause of pilonidal cysts?

Doctors disagree about the causes of pilonidal cysts. Some doctors believe the cause could be ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs are loose hairs re-enter the skin through pressure caused by the skin rubs against itself, by clothing or by sitting for long periods. Other doctors believe that pilonidal cysts form around a hair follicle (the structure of the hair growth) has had a break.

Some babies are born with a small dimple just above the gluteal fold, which is called a sacral dimple. The sacral dimple may become infected and form a pilonidal abscess.

How can my doctor determine if I have a pilonidal cyst?

Your doctor can diagnose your pilonidal cyst consideration. Chances are, your doctor will also ask about your symptoms.

How is a pilonidal cyst treated?

If you have an infected pilonidal cyst, your doctor will numb the area where the cyst is. Your doctor will drain the pus and draw hair or other debris on the cyst. Then your doctor will plug the abscess with gauze to help it heal from within. It may be necessary to change the dressing several times until the cyst heals. Most people with pilonidal cyst not need further treatment.

If you have a pilonidal cyst is infected often, you may need surgery. Your doctor will make an incision to remove the pus, hair and fragments of skin abscess. Your doctor may choose to leave the wound open and plug it with gauze, or choose to close the wound with a suture. If your doctor tells you you need surgery for pilonidal cyst, talk to him about the pros and cons of leaving the wound open or close it.


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