Pilonidal cyst basics
Pilonidal cysts are pockets of skin near the tailbone that contain hair, skin debris, and possibly pus or blood. They typically occur when a hair grows backwards and becomes embedded in the skin. Once it becomes infected, it grows tender, swollen, and inflamed. Pus and blood can gather in the area, leading to a painful and unsightly sore.
Pilonidal cysts are more common in men, especially young men and those who sit for long periods of time, such as cab drivers or cyclists. They have a tendency to recur, so it’s important to keep an eye on the area if you’ve experienced a cyst before.
Recognizing the symptoms
The symptoms of a pilonidal cyst are often noticeable when you sit down or examine the area. They include:
- Pimple-like boil (can vary in size)
- Drainage or discharge (may be cloudy, foul-smelling, or bloody)
- Tenderness and pain
- Redness and inflammation
If you begin experiencing a fever, seek help immediately. This is a sign that the infection has become serious. If you suspect that your cyst has become infected, it’s important that you get treatment as soon as possible.
Treatment options and prevention
Your treatment plan depends on several factors, including:
- Whether you’ve had a pilonidal cyst before
- Previous treatments
- Severity of the cyst
- Your lifestyle
Dr. Ambe will likely drain and clean your cyst to facilitate healing. If the cyst is severe, he excises the sinus cavity to remove the infected tissue. He can treat your infection with antibiotics, but these will not heal the wound itself. It’s up to you to follow your doctor’s instructions, keep the area clean, and avoid sitting for long periods of time.
You can prevent recurrences by limiting the amount of time you spend sitting, changing your clothes frequently, shaving the hair above your buttocks, and washing the area with gentle soap every day.
Are you experiencing symptoms of a pilonidal cyst? You can discuss your treatment options by scheduling a consultation at Texas Surgical Care. To get in touch, call 832-280-8691, or request an appointment online.