Thursday, December 7, 2023
Home Health What Is Pilonidal Cyst Its Causes And Symptoms

What Is Pilonidal Cyst Its Causes And Symptoms

A pilonidal cyst refers to an abnormal pocket in the area of your skin that contains the debris of your skin and hair. It appears near the tailbone at the upper area of the buttocks cleft. It occurs when hair starts puncturing the skin. These hairs become embedded in your skin.

Sometimes the pilonidal cyst can become infected which leads to extreme pain. A small incision is used to remove or drain. Doctors can also remove it through surgery. Most commonly, young men get the problem of pilonidal cyst. This problem can recur after recovery.

People who sit for a longer duration of time can get this issue. An example includes truck drivers who are vulnerable to developing a pilonidal cyst.


After infection, a pilonidal cyst starts becoming a mass that is swollen. An individual with a pilonidal cyst can experience the following symptoms.

  • Foul smell from the pus that is draining
  • Pain
  • Redness of skin
  • Drainage of blood and pus from the opening 

See a doctor if you are getting symptoms of a pilonidal cyst. He or she examines the lesions to make a diagnosis. 


Doctors are not clear about the exact factor that is involved in causing a pilonidal cyst. But loose hairs are the apparent cause of pilonidal cysts. These hairs start penetrating your skin. Other similar factors include pressure, friction, and rubbing against your skin.

These factors also include long sitting periods, tight clothing, and bicycling. Moreover, these factors pressurize hair to get down into your skin. The body works to develop cysts around the hair to respond to foreign substances. It rarely occurs in other parts of your body.

But there are chances that people can have these cysts on other parts of the body like sheep shearers, barbers, and dog groomers develop pilonidal cysts at the area of the skin present between fingers.

Risk Factors

Specific risk factors make you vulnerable to developing pilonidal cysts. These risk factors are given below.

  • Coarse hair
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Male sex
  • An occupation that needs prolonged sitting
  • Obesity
  • Younger age
  • Having excessive body hairs


If you leave a chronically infected pilonidal cyst untreated or if you do not get its proper treatment, you become vulnerable to developing skin cancer. This cancer is known as squamous cell carcinoma.


If you want to prevent the development of pilonidal cysts, try to lose your body weight if needed and keep the affected area clean. Avoid sitting for a prolonged time.


Initial treatment to recover a pilonidal cyst is the treatment that you will get at the office of your doctor. Your doctor will numb the area using injection and make a small incision in order to drain the cyst. It can recur and if you get it again, you may have to go through a surgical procedure.

In surgical procedures, doctors entirely remove the cyst. Your doctor may choose the following options after the surgery.

  • Leaving A Wound Open: In this procedure, the doctor leaves your surgical wound open. He or she may pack it with dressing in order to heal from inside. It can take a long time for healing. The risk of recurrence of pilonidal cyst, in this case, is low.
  • Using Stitches To Close The Wound: Your wound will heal quickly in this option. But the risk of recurrence of the cyst is greater in it. Some surgeons try to make an incision at the side of the cleft in the area of the buttocks. Here, healing is difficult.

After the surgery, you have to take extra care of your wound. Never ignore the wound after the surgical procedure in order to avoid recurrence and getting complications later. A nurse or doctor will brief you about taking care of your wound. 

Try to shave around the affected area or surgical site. It helps to stop hair from entering the area of your wound. A doctor can immediately refer an individual to a surgeon or dermatologist after initial examination in a few cases. 

Follow the guidelines of the doctor properly if you want to heal on time. Do not try to handle the complications of the wound using home remedies. 

Consult your doctor if you think your wound is taking much time to heal and if you suspect that it has pus. He or she will suggest better options for treatment. 

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