Symptoms of Pilonidal Cysts

It’s usually easy to detect a pilonidal cyst, because they typically appear in the upper crease of the buttocks near the tailbone. This common problem affects more than 70,000 Americans each year, especially men in their 20s.

Unfortunately, many people find their symptoms embarrassing, which keeps them from talking to their doctors. The good news is that this condition is highly treatable.

Scott A. deVilleneuve, MD, at Surgical Associates of North Texas uses state-of-the-art techniques to treat pilonidal cysts. Not only can he help relieve your symptoms, but he can help prevent recurring problems.

Understanding pilonidal cysts

Pilonidal cysts form when a hair punctures the skin and becomes embedded. This causes a pocket to form around the hair. 

While the exact cause of pilonidal cysts isn’t known, they’re typically associated with friction and pressure. So, as something pushes hair against your skin, your body responds by making a cyst around the hair as if it’s a threat.

Anyone can develop a pilonidal cyst. However, several factors can increase your risk, such as:

Men are 3-4 times more likely to get pilonidal cysts than women.

Symptoms of pilonidal cysts

In the earliest stages of a pilonidal cyst, you may notice a small bump, dimple, or pimple-like mass at the base of your tailbone. However, these pockets are highly susceptible to infection, which can lead to several uncomfortable symptoms, including:

It’s also common for symptoms to worsen when you sit or apply pressure to the area. Without treatment, you may experience chronic problems with pilonidal cysts and have a slightly higher risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.

Treating pilonidal cysts

Fortunately, there are several treatments for pilonidal cysts. In fact, in the earliest stages, mild cysts often respond to soaking in a warm tub. But, as a pilonidal cyst worsens, it may require more advanced medical treatment, including soft tissue surgery.

Depending on the severity of your cyst, Dr. deVilleneuve might leave your wound open and packed with dressing or close it with stitches over a drain. Wounds that are left open heal from the inside out, so they take longer to heal.

No matter which treatment you undergo, it will be important to follow Dr. deVilleneuve’s care instructions to help avoid developing pilonidal cysts in the future.

If you have a pilonidal cyst and want treatment, or if you want to see if you have one, book an appointment online or over the phone with Surgical Associates of North Texas today.

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