About pilonidal cyst

What is pilonidal cyst?

Pilonidal cyst facts

  • Pilonidal cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form at the top of the crease of the buttocks above the sacrum. A painful abscess can form if the cyst and the overlying skin become infected.
  • Pilonidal cysts are caused by groups of hairs and debris trapped in the pores of the skin in the upper cleft of the buttock, forming an abscess.
  • Risk factors for pilonidal cysts include being male, sedentary, having thick body hair, family history, being overweight, and previous pilonidal cysts.
  • Symptoms of pilonidal cysts include
    • pain,
    • redness,
    • swelling,
    • fever,
    • if the abscess ruptures, there may be discharge of blood or pus.
  • Treatment for pilonidal cysts involves incision and drainage (I&D) or surgery.
  • Home remedies include sitz baths and some vitamin supplements.
  • The prognosis for a pilonidal cyst is generally good. Recurrences are common.

What is a pilonidal cyst?

A pilonidal cyst is a fluid-filled sac that occurs in the area at the top of the crease of the buttocks overlying the tailbone (sacrum). This cyst and the overlying skin in the area can become infected, forming a painful abscess.

What are the symptoms for pilonidal cyst?

Fluid-filled sac under the skin in the lower back symptom was found in the pilonidal cyst condition

When it's infected, a pilonidal cyst becomes a Swollen mass (abscess). Signs and symptoms of an infected pilonidal cyst include:

  • Pain
  • Reddening of the skin
  • Drainage of Pus or blood from an opening in the skin
  • Foul smell from draining pus

When to see a doctor

If you notice any signs or symptoms of a pilonidal cyst, see your doctor. He or she can diagnose the condition by examining the lesion.

What are the causes for pilonidal cyst?

The exact cause of pilonidal cysts isn't clear. But most pilonidal cysts appear to be caused by loose hairs that penetrate the skin. Friction and pressure — skin rubbing against skin, tight clothing, bicycling, long periods of sitting or similar factors — force the hair down into skin. Responding to the hair as a foreign substance, the body creates a cyst around the hair.

This explanation accounts for rare cases of pilonidal cysts that occur in parts of the body other than near the tailbone. For example, barbers, dog groomers and sheep shearers have developed pilonidal cysts in the skin between fingers.

What are the treatments for pilonidal cyst?

The initial treatment for an infected pilonidal cyst is usually a procedure that can be performed in your doctor's office. After numbing the area with an injection, your doctor makes a small incision to drain the cyst. If the cyst recurs, which often happens, you may need a more extensive surgical procedure that removes the cyst entirely.

After surgery, your doctor may choose to:

  • Leave the wound open. In this option, the surgical wound is left open and packed with dressing to allow it to heal from the inside out. This process results in a longer healing time but usually a lower risk of a recurring pilonidal cyst infection.
  • Close the wound with stitches. While the healing time is shorter with this option, there's a greater risk of recurrence. Some surgeons make the incision to the side of the cleft of the buttocks, where healing is particularly difficult.

Wound care is extremely important after surgery. Your doctor or nurse will give you detailed instructions on how to change dressings, what to expect of a normal healing process and when to call the doctor. You may also need to shave around the surgical site to prevent hairs from entering the wound.

What are the risk factors for pilonidal cyst?

Certain factors can make you more susceptible to developing pilonidal cysts, such as:

  • Male sex
  • Younger age (pilonidal cysts are most common in people in their 20s)
  • Obesity
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Occupation requiring prolonged sitting
  • Excess body hair
  • Stiff or coarse hair

Is there a cure/medications for pilonidal cyst?

A pilonidal cyst is an abnormal pocket in the skin that usually contains hair and skin debris. A pilonidal cyst is almost always located near the tailbone at the top of the cleft of the buttocks.
Pilonidal cysts usually occur when hair punctures the skin and then becomes embedded. If a pilonidal cyst becomes infected, the resulting abscess is often extremely painful.

Risk factors

  • Pilonidal cysts most commonly occur in young men, and the problem tends to recur. People who sit for prolonged periods, such as truck drivers, are at higher risk of developing a pilonidal cyst


Depending on the severity of your symptoms, the patient may or may not need surgery to remove your pilonidal cyst. There are several other treatment methods available besides surgery, including:

  • Draining the cyst: This procedure can happen right in your provider’s office. A small incision will be made to open and drain fluid from your infected cyst.
  • Injections: Injections of phenol, an acidic chemical compound can treat and prevent mild and moderate pilonidal cysts.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics can treat skin inflammation. However, antibiotics can’t heal pilonidal cysts on their own.
  • Laser therapy: Laser therapy can remove hair which otherwise might become ingrown and cause more pilonidal cysts to come back.
  • home remedies like warm compress and topical application of antihistamines might be helpful in treating this condition.
  • If the cyst is too painful it over the counter painkillers like aspirin can be taken.

Fluid-filled sac under the skin in the lower back,Near the crease of the buttocks
Small hole or tunnel in the skin filled with fluid or pus, causing the formation of a cyst or abscess
Antibiotics,Hot compresses,Topical treatment

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