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Pilonidal cyst – Causes, symptoms, treatments

The pilonidal cyst is characterized by the formation of a small orifice, or nodule, at the level of the inter-gluteal groove. Its appearance is usually sudden and without any underlying cause. In addition, certain factors are favorable to the development of such a cyst: age, sex, hairiness or even the long sitting position.

Pilonidal cyst, what is it?

Definition of pilonidal cyst

The pilonidal cyst, also called “pilonidal sinus”, is characterized by the formation of a small orifice at the level of the buttocks fissure (inter-buttock furrow) or at the level of the coccyx (sacro-coccygeal cyst).

Several cysts can be seen developing in this part of the body, forming a small “tunnel”.

Many people wrongly associate the “sinus” mode with the nose. It is actually a medical term to qualify a cavity or a “channel”.

The development of a pilonidal cyst is usually not associated with underlying symptoms unless it is infected. In some cases, it can develop small abscess filled with pus. Signs associated with cyst infection result in hardening of the affected area and swelling of the area.

It is still recommended to consult your doctor at the earliest, as part of a finding of such a cyst.

The origin of the pilonidal cyst

The exact origin of the development of a pilonidal cyst is still only very little known.

Nevertheless, some factors may increase the risk of developing this type of cyst. Among these factors, we can identify: obesity , significant hair growth, sitting posture and over the long term.

Who is concerned with the development of such a cyst?

The prevalence (number of people affected by the pathology) is relatively low with nearly 26 patients per 100,000 every year.

A male predominance is however remarkable: with a risk twice as important for men.

The average age of cyst development is 21 years for men and 19 years for women.

Children and adults over the age of 45 are less likely to develop such a cyst.

Certain parameters can then be taken into account in the increased risk of the development of a pilonidal cyst:

  • obesity, a BMI (Body Mass Index) & gt; 30 ;
  • age (between 15 and 40 years);
  • hairiness (hence the predominant problem in men);
  • trauma or surgical intervention in this part of the body;
  • the presence of other cases in the same family;
  • having a job requires sitting on a large majority of the time.

Symptoms and treatments of pilonidal cyst

The symptoms of the pilonidal cyst

The visible signs of the cyst are the detection of swelling in the inter-gluteal groove.

Generally without pain or underlying symptoms, as part of an infection of this cyst, it may be associated with:

  • a greater or lesser pain ;
  • the formation of a subcutaneous nodule ;
  • hardening of the skin at the infected area;
  • the appearance of pus at the level of the cyst;
  • the finding of blood at the level of the cyst;
  • the fever .

These symptoms usually appear quickly and last only a few days.

In the case of the development of such symptoms, synonymous with a cyst infection, a consultation with the doctor as well as the follow-up of a treatment is necessary in order to avoid any aggravation. Difficulty staying in a sitting or lying position can also be felt and thus impact the patient’s sleep.

Risk factors of the pilonidal cyst

The risk factors for the development of such a cyst are then the age, the sex, the hairiness or the sedentariness linked to daily activity and / or work.

Pilonidal cyst treatments

The first phase of the treatment of the pilonidal cyst is obviously to wash well and dry well the affected area. Hair removal in this area is also recommended to avoid any risk of further infection.

In the case of a cyst infection, a visit to the doctor as well as the taking of a suitable treatment is recommended in order to avoid any possible complications.

The associated treatment is often related to antibiotic therapy or incision of the cyst to remove the pus and drain the affected area.

If the infection persists, surgery is possible. Nevertheless, this is similar to rare cases of pathology.

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