How Your Job May Contribute to a Pilonidal Cyst

Have you noticed a bump near your tailbone in the upper crease of your buttocks? These growths, known as pilonidal cysts, develop when skin in the area fills with dead skin cells, hair, or oil. Sometimes, these cysts are small and painless. But, if they become inflamed or infected, they can become quite uncomfortable.

At Surgical Associates of North Texas, Scott deVilleneuve, MD, specializes in treating conditions, such as pilonidal cysts, using the most advanced surgical treatments available. Here’s what you should know about pilonidal cysts and how your job could be contributing to your condition.

What causes a pilonidal cyst?

Anyone of any age can develop a pilonidal cyst, but they’re most common in men ― especially men in their late teens to early twenties.  The good news is that most people will eventually outgrow their cysts.  Rarely do we see anyone older than 45 or 50 years old still with symptoms from a pilonidal cyst. 

While experts aren’t completely sure of the exact cause of pilonidal cysts, a combination of factors is likely to blame, including:

As a result, people at the highest risk of developing pilonidal cysts include those with jobs driving or sitting for long stretches of time. One nickname for these in the military is Jeep driver’s disease due to the frequency of them in soldiers driving around in hot vehicles with less than stellar suspension.

What are the symptoms of a pilonidal cyst?

At first, a pilonidal cyst may resemble a little dimple or pimple. They can remain small and painless or grow large and tender over time.

Common signs of a pilonidal cyst include:

In most cases, these symptoms grow worse if you apply pressure or sit.

How do you treat a pilonidal cyst?

Dr. deVilleneuve offers several treatment solutions, depending on the size, severity, and frequency of symptoms caused by your cyst. In mild cases, for example, he will usually start with a course of antibiotics and see if that doesn’t decrease the inflammation such that the symptoms are alleviated without any surgery at all.  

If you have a more advanced pilonidal cyst and antibiotics alone don’t work, then Dr. deVilleneuve may suggest surgical excision of the core of the cyst.  This will provide immediate relief from the symptoms caused by the swelling and inflammation, while hopefully allowing your body to return to a more normal baseline state where the cyst isn’t bothering you anymore. 

The best way to prevent developing pilonidal cysts is by keeping the area clean, avoiding prolonged sitting, and practicing healthy weight management. 

To learn more about pilonidal cysts or to get treatment, book an appointment online or over the phone with Surgical Associates of North Texas today.

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