Pilonidal cyst (cyst of buttock)

General or Other | - Others | Pilonidal cyst (cyst of buttock) (Disease)


Pilonidal cysts are basically pus-containing inflammations which develop in the sacral or coccygeal areas—that is, in the area about a few centimeters above the cleft of the buttocks. Pilonidal cysts are literally a pain in the butt. If you have a pilonidal cyst, you would get up on your seat or couch frequently or turn your butt to the other side to prevent your cysts from being compressed or further traumatized.

Causes and Risk factors

Pilonidal cysts are not congenital, they are acquired conditions and most often than not result from too much and prolonged pressure to the sacral area. Our skin is composed of hair follicles and with trauma or pressure, these hair follicles may puncture into the skin and cause inflammation.

Pilonidal cysts are thought to be an acquired condition involving midline pits in the gluteal cleft. These pits are actually enlarged hair follicles in the skin. Gravity and movement of the buttocks create a vacuum that pulls on the hair follicle, allowing bacteria from the skin and/or the area between the genital organs and the anus and debris from the anus to enter this area, leading to local inflammation and infection.

The resulting swelling (edema) closes the mouth of the follicle, while the follicle continues to expand and finally ruptures into the fatty tissue that underlies the area. This releases keratin (the principal component of hair) and pus, setting into motion a foreign body reaction that produces acute and chronic abscesses and sometimes fistulae.

Diagnosis and Treatment

A pilonidal cyst can be diagnosed on the basis of the characteristic symptoms and the findings on the physical exam.

Individuals who simply have a dimple or sinus tract that has not become infected or inflamed do not generally require any immediate treatment. However, an infected pilonidal cyst may become a pilonidal abscess (pus containing structure) that requires incision and drainage (lancing) in order to improve. This procedure can generally be performed in a physicians office or in the emergency department. ...