What’s New? 11 Treatments for Pilonidal Cyst

A pilonidal cyst, also known as pilonidal cyst disease, intergluteal pilonidal disease, or pilonidal sinus, is an air- or fluid-filled sac of tissues that looks like a giant pimple. It results from either an immune response, friction, pressure-generating activities, or hormonal changes, leading to the formation of a cyst around the hair and resulting in a skin infection in the sacrococcygeal region. It may be acute (one-time) or chronic (returning problem). When a chronic pilonidal cyst is infected, it can fill up with pus and lead to a pilonidal abscess.

A pilonidal cyst is a reasonably common condition with a relatively high incidence. The leading cause of pilonidal cysts is unclear, but it is typically associated with hair follicles, micro-trauma, and the depth of the intergluteal groove. It is usually found in the crease of the butt, the coccyx, and at the bottom of the tailbone. Some people find it embarrassing to admit to having this type of cyst or talk about it.

As for risk factors, pilonidal cyst occurs more often in men than in women, especially among the younger ones. It is also more likely to appear in those who sit all day, are overweight, have thick bodies, or wear tight clothes. It can be painful, too, so it’s best to know that it is treatable. 

Incision and drainage

Incision and drainage are among the most preferred methods or procedures for treating pilonidal cysts. It’s the procedure commonly advised to those having their first pilonidal cyst treated, and for a good reason. It’s a relatively simple procedure that doesn’t require much imagination to understand. Under this treatment option, the doctor cleans the surrounding area of the cyst first by removing the hair follicles nearby. Once done, local anesthesia is applied in the area to make it numb and prep it for the procedure. 

As far as the actual procedure is concerned, the doctor waits until the area is wholly numbed before making a small cut into the cyst. Through this incision, the doctor drains the cyst out. Once the cyst is drained, the doctor leaves the wound open until the incision heals, simply packing the space with gauze. Just like its name, this pilonidal cyst treatment is relatively straightforward, and it takes up to three weeks before the excised, drained pilonidal cyst heals completely.