(Pilonidal Sinus; Pilonidal Abscess)
DefinitionA pilonidal cyst is a fluid-filled developmental defect at the base of the spine.The terms cyst, sinus, and abscess refer to different stages of the disease process.
- Cyst—not infected
- Abscess—pocket of pus
- Sinus—opening between a cyst or other internal structure and the outside
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
CausesA pilonidal cyst may be congenital or acquired. If congenital, it probably began as a defect that existed when you were born. Sometime later, the defect allowed an infection to develop. If acquired, it may be the enlargement of a simple hair follicle infection or the result of a hair penetrating the skin and causing an infection.
Risk FactorsThe following factors increase your chance of developing a pilonidal cyst:
- Personal or family history of similar problems such as acne boils, carbuncles, folliculitis, and sebaceous cysts
- Large amounts of hair in the region
- Tailbone injury
- Horseback riding, cycling
- Prolonged sitting
SymptomsA pilonidal cyst may cause:
- Painful swelling over your sacrum, which is the area just above your tailbone
- A foul smell or pus draining from that area
DiagnosisYou will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a surgeon for treatment. There are no diagnostic tests required.
More from Beliefnet
Improving parent-adolescent sexual communication has been noted as one factor that could help to encourage adolescents to practice safer sex behavior. This study found that sexual communication with parents plays a small protective role in safer sex behavior among adolescents.
Celiac Disease May Increase the Risk of Bone Fractures
Music May Improve Sleep Quality in Adults with Insomnia
CPAP May Help Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea