Pilonidal Cyst

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A pilonidal cyst forms when skin debris, hair and other abnormal tissues form an abnormal-looking, found by the tailbone (more specifically just above the cleft of the buttocks). This area is known as the sacroccocygeal area. This area is recognisable by its sinus tracts, which are basically little clefts with a small opening on the skin surface. Each of these cavities is filled with nests of hair. These types of cyst are more frequent among young men, especially young adults, under the age of twenty five. Typically, a pilonidal cyst is harmless, but it can be harmful should it become infected. In such a case, it can be painful, and lead to inflammation.


Symptoms vary quite widely from a small dimple to a large painful abscess. Gradually, this area will feel more tender, and other symptoms you may experience are a sense of fever or nausea, swelling and redness, and a foul odour emanating from the cyst. You are more likely to develop a pilonidal cyst if you have poor hygiene, or are clinically obese. However, pilonidal cysts can also be hereditary, and not caused by any of the above reasons.  


A pilonidal cyst that isn’t causing you any problems does not necessarily need to be treated. Although it is advised that you ensure the area surrounding the cyst is kept clean. Moreover, you must ensure there is no hair around the area, so a hair removal agent must be applied or hair around this area most be shaved regularly. While the cyst could quite conceivably resolve itself, if it becomes inflamed and abscess-like, then you should book an appointment with your doctor in order for the contents to be drained after an incision is made. This will help prevent further inflammation. If the pilonidal sinus recurs persistently then surgical treatment will be necessary. Procedures include removing the top of the sinuses, or complete excision. Either way, all methods involve the cavity to be removed of all hair.

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