Pilonidal cyst is an abnormal tuft of hair and skin debris that develops at the bottom of your tailbone or rather say at the top of the crease or cleft of the buttocks. This could be uncomfortable for an individual.
Many theories have since been proposed to be its cause. Some say it may be congenital; that is a person is naturally born with it, as it develops from embryological cells that were not in the right places early in life. Others have proposed the theory of trauma, that is, repeated injury may lead to the development of a pilonidal cyst called the Jeep driver’s disease.
The new and most recent thinking is that groups of hairand skin debris that penetrate the skin or gets trapped deep in the open pores of the skin may later develop into a pilonidal cyst.
How Do You Recognize a Pilonidal Cyst?
The most important and clinically relevant thing about the pilonidal cyst is that it later gets infected and literarily become “a pain in the buttocks” that needs to be treated. Apart from the pain, it usually comes with other symptoms which include: swelling of the area of the buttocks where the cyst is located, pain either while sitting or standing or even when touched, reddened skin, pus or blood oozing out from the cyst, an offensive odour from the discharge, and sometimes fever which is usually low grade.
Treatment of Pilonidal Cysts
Pilonidal cysts can be treated in so many different ways, this largely depend on the stages of the cyst and its clinical presentation.
In cases where it is diagnosed early enough, with little or mild pain and no sign of inflammation, broad-spectrum antibiotics may be the answer. This is an antibiotic that covers a wide range of bacteria in its treatment and has been used by doctors for conservative treatment of Pilonidal cyst.
It is essential to note that this wouldn’t treat the cyst but give relief for the pain and Inflammation. After which you would be given a follow-up examination that would involve shaving the site and regularly removing the hair around the area , with great attention to hygiene.
Another medical treatment that doctors resort to is the injection of 80% phenol into the sinus of the cyst for one minute, which is later expressed out of the cavity and the sinus curetted. This can be repeated three to four times in a single treatment and could be repeated after four weeks depending on the level of the wound healing.
A drawback to this treatment is its level of recurrence. This being the reason why most people resort to incision, drainage, and eventual curettage of the cyst – the most common and essential treatment.
The incision and drainage is usually a simple procedure that can be carried out inside the doctor’s office, where the doctor numbs the area with a local anesthetic agent. Then the doctor cuts into the cyst and drains out the content. The wound would then be packed with sterile gauze or closed with stitches depending on the location of the cysts. The doctor would then teach about the wound dressing, which must be followed to the letters.
Frequently, there is usually reoccurrence in which the doctor would have to excise or remove the whole cyst instead of draining its content. This is called curettage and is the definitive treatment for pilonidal cyst.