Pilonidal cysts usually develop near the tailbone, at the top of the crease of your buttocks. They’re common, with more than 70,000 cases occurring in the United States every year.
At Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC, we usually see pilonidal cysts in people who sit for long periods — like truck drivers or office workers. They’re also common in young men aged 20-35 as well as people who are sedentary and overweight.
The cysts contain hair, skin fragments, and other tissue. They can cause pain and are vulnerable to infection. If yours is bothersome, we may recommend draining it or, in some cases, removing it surgically.
Because of their location, it can be embarrassing to bring your cyst to a health care provider’s attention, but you should. Here’s what we want you to know about pilonidal cysts and why it’s essential to have yours evaluated.
If you have a small lump or bump on your skin, just above your buttock’s crease, it’s likely a pilonidal cyst. At first, you won’t experience any symptoms. It is very likely, however, that your cyst will become infected. Signs of infection include pain at the cyst site, fever, swelling and redness around the cyst, and oozing pus.
Ingrown hairs, tailbone trauma, or a ruptured hair follicle are why you develop the cysts. Men are far more likely to be diagnosed with a pilonidal cyst than women. If you have thick or coarse body hair or wear tight clothing, you’re also more likely to develop a pilonidal cyst.
If your cyst isn’t causing symptoms or discomfort, you don’t have to do anything about it. Take these steps to avoid infection:
If the cyst becomes infected, contact us for treatment.
If you have signs of an infection, we will drain the cyst. That involves numbing the area around the cyst and draining any pus from inside the cyst. We’ll also clean any hairs or dead skin cells. We’ll prescribe antibiotics to fight any infections.
Draining often helps the cyst resolve forever, but if yours returns, we may recommend surgery to have it permanently removed.
We numb the area and make an incision to remove the cyst. Your surgeon may leave the wound open so it can heal from the inside out. That approach makes it less likely that the cyst will return.
Your surgeon may also choose to close the incision with stitches. With this option, your wound heals faster, but you have a greater likelihood that the cyst will come back.
If you’re located in Jackson, Mississippi, our team at Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC is ready to evaluate and treat your pilonidal cyst. Call today or use the online tool to set up your consultation.