If you have a painful bump near your tailbone, you could have a pilonidal cyst. At her practice in Los Angeles, California, Karen Zaghiyan, MD, FACS, FASCRS, provides conservative and minimally invasive treatment options for numerous issues, including pilonidal cysts. To find relief for pilonidal disease, call Karen Zaghiyan MD or schedule an appointment online today.
A pilonidal cyst, or pilonidal disease, develops because of a skin infection near your buttock crease. These chronic infections generally start when hairs become embedded in this area and the hair follicles become infected, forming a cyst or abscess.
The exact cause of pilonidal disease isn’t known, but it’s most common in men between puberty and 40 years of age. Additional factors that can increase your risk of pilonidal disease include:
Your chances of having a pilonidal cyst are also higher if you’re overweight, have coarse or thick body hair, a job that requires extended periods of sitting, or have a family history of the condition.
Pilonidal cysts can cause a variety of symptoms, including large and painful red lumps, or cysts. When these bumps become infected, they can grow into abscesses that can drain pus and have a foul odor.
When you have a pilonidal cyst, your infection can drain on its own or through surgical treatment. After draining, however, these cysts can leave a passageway underneath your skin known as a sinus tract. These areas can cause continued drainage or recurring infections.
Dr. Zaghiyan can usually diagnose a pilonidal cyst through a physical examination of your buttock area. In most cases, the first step in managing a pilonidal cyst involves draining your abscess.
To drain your pilonidal cyst, Dr. Zaghiyan typically administers local anesthetic and makes a small incision in the site to allow the pus to empty. The wound is generally left open to drain and may be packed with surgical dressing so it heals from the inside out.
After treating an acute pilonidal infection, Dr. Zaghiyan might recommend additional conservative treatments like shaving the area or having laser hair removal to help prevent another infection.
When pilonidal cysts don’t respond to conservative therapies, Dr. Zaghiyan can suggest minimally invasive surgical treatments focused on removing the sinus tract causing your infections.
To learn more about pilonidal cysts and treatments, call Karen Zaghiyan MD or schedule an appointment online today.