Pilonidal cyst

Pilonidal cyst

A pilonidal cyst is a skin lump that appears near the coccyx, to be precise, at the top of the buttocks. These lumps contain debris of hair follicles and skin.

Pilonidal cyst or pilonidal cyst  is a rare disease. This condition is more common in young men who often sit for too long, for example those who work as drivers.

Pilonidal cysts can become infected and painful. If left unchecked, this infection can lead to complications.

Pilonidal Cyst Causes

The exact cause of pilonidal cysts is not known. However, in most cases, the appearance of the cyst is preceded by an ingrown hair or ingrown hair .

Apart from  ingrown hairs , pilonidal cysts are also thought to occur due to repeated injuries to the groin area and tailbone area, for example due to frequent driving on bad roads.

Pilonidal cysts can happen to anyone. However, this disorder is more common in people who have a number of conditions below:

  • Male gender
  • 15–24 years old
  • Suffer from obesity
  • Lack of movement or often sitting too long
  • Having dense body hair with a stiff or coarse texture
  • Often carry heavy objects
  • Has a small depression in the skin above the buttocks from birth
  • Suffer from hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating
  • Have a family with a similar condition

Pilonidal Cyst Symptoms

A pilonidal cyst will look like a pimple above the cleft of the buttocks. It is located about 4-8 cm above the anal canal. This lump is often not realized because it usually does not cause disturbing symptoms. However, when infected, a number of the following symptoms can be felt by sufferers:

  • Cyst lumps are swollen and reddish in color
  • The lump feels warm and painful to the touch
  • Pus or blood that smells bad when the cyst bursts
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Fever

When to see a doctor

Check with your doctor if you have symptoms of an infected pilonidal cyst. Treatment by a doctor is necessary to prevent complications.

Infection of the pilonidal cyst can occur repeatedly. This condition is at risk of causing skin cancer . Therefore, consult a doctor while undergoing treatment to minimize the risk of developing skin cancer in the future.

Pilonidal cyst diagnosis

In diagnosing a pilodinal cyst, the doctor will ask about the patient's complaints. After that, the doctor will trace the medical history of the patient and his family members. Next, a physical examination is carried out by looking at and touching the skin in the cyst lump area.

Investigations are rarely performed, unless the patient has a severe infection . In this condition, blood tests and  X-rays are generally chosen as the type of supporting examination.

Pilonidal Cyst Treatment

Treatment is needed when the pilonidal cyst is bothersome or infected. The following are the stages of treatment that can be done:

Self-medication at home

Initial treatment of a pilonidal cyst can be done at home to reduce pain and discomfort. Actions that can be taken are:

  • Apply warm compresses to the cyst area or soak in warm water
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as  paracetamol
  • Keeping cyst lumps always clean and dry, for example by frequently changing clothes when sweating
  • Always sit on a soft place
  • Applying essential oils, such as  tea tree oil , on cyst lumps

Even though it looks like a  pimple , don't try to squeeze it let alone pop a cyst lump. The reason is, this action can actually increase the risk of infection and the formation of scars in the area where the cyst grows.

Light operating procedures

The doctor will perform surgery if the cyst becomes infected. The operation is performed by making a small incision in the cyst lump, to remove the pus and hair in it. This action is preceded by anesthetizing the area around the cyst first.

Patients are advised to keep the surgical wound clean after undergoing surgery. Patients are also advised to check for signs of infection and carry out routine controls to the doctor to monitor  the wound healing process .

Pilonidal cyst complications

If left untreated, pilonidal cysts can cause the following complications:

  • The formation of an abscess or collection of pus
  • The pilonidal cyst reappeared
  • The infection spreads to other parts of the body
  • Skin cancer type  squamous cell carcinoma

It should be noted, severe complications that lead to cancer generally occur when the cyst has experienced repeated (chronic) infections.

Pilonidal Cyst Prevention

Keeping the area around the buttocks clean and dry is an important step in preventing pilonidal cysts. In addition, try to prevent the appearance of  ingrown hairs  and avoid the risk factors for these cysts. Efforts that can be made are:

  • Shave excess hair around the buttocks.
  • If your job requires you to sit for long periods of time, try standing up and taking a short walk every hour.
  • Keep your  weight within the ideal range .
  • Try not to carry heavy objects too often.
  • Avoid wearing clothes or pants that are too tight.
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