Pilonidal Cyst (cont.)

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What are pilonidal cyst symptoms and signs?

If a pilonidal cyst is not infected, there may be no symptoms. When a cyst is infected, signs and symptoms include

  • fever,
  • pain,
  • swelling,
  • redness,
  • discharge of blood or pus (if abscess ruptures or "pops"),
  • foul odor.

What are risk factors for a pilonidal cyst?

Risk factors for pilonidal cysts include the following:

  • Male predominance (four times more often than in women)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Thick body hair
  • Family history
  • Local shaving or damage to the skin from friction
  • Overweight or obese
  • Previous pilonidal cyst

How do doctors diagnose a pilonidal cyst?

A doctor will diagnose a pilonidal cyst by first doing a physical examination. A lump, swelling, or abscess at the cleft of the buttock with or without a draining area (sinus) is characteristic of a pilonidal cyst.

If infection is severe, blood tests may be performed. There is usually no need for imaging tests in cases of pilonidal cysts.

Are there any home remedies for a pilonidal cyst?

Home remedies are aimed at relieving pain and swelling. These home treatments include the following:

  • Sitz baths: Sitting in a tub of warm water up to the hips can relieve pain and may reduce the chances the cyst will worsen.
  • Vitamin C and zinc supplements can help in the healing process. Vitamin A also helps with tissue repair. Consult a doctor for the right dose of these supplements.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/2/2015

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