Pilonidal Cyst

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

Boils Slideshow

Pilonidal Cysts: What Are the Risk Factors?

Most experts believe that the cysts arise due to trauma to the area that results in ingrown hairs. Pilonidal cysts often contain hair when excised, but hair follicles have not been demonstrated in them, suggesting that the hair may have been introduced from outside the cyst. Pilonidal disease was a common problem among servicemen during World War II, thought to be due to the mechanical trauma of riding in jeeps, trucks, and tanks.

Quick GuideBoils: Causes, Symptoms, and Home Remedies

Boils: Causes, Symptoms, and Home Remedies

Pilonidal cyst facts

  • Pilonidal cysts are sacs filled with hair and skin debris 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, and
    • 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.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/2/2016

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Skin Care & Conditions Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Pilonidal Cyst - Treatments

    What was the treatment for your pilonidal cyst?

    Post View 21 Comments
  • Pilonidal Cyst - Signs and Symptoms

    What signs or symptoms did you experience with your pilonidal cyst?

    Post View 4 Comments
  • Pilonidal Cyst - Prevention

    What do you do to prevent pilonidal cysts from recurring?

    Post

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors