PILONIDAL CYST - Watsons Health
PILONIDAL CYST - WatsonsHealth


An abnormal pocket that occurs in the skin is called as a pilonidal cyst. It normally has skin and hair debris. It is typically seen at the top portion of the cleft of the buttocks.

These cysts are formed when hair breaks the skin and then gets embedded. They develop an abscess which is very painful. A small cut will be needed to drain them or they have to be removed with the help of surgery.

They are common in younger men and they have the tendency to come back. People who sit for long hours like truck drivers are most prone to develop a pilonidal cyst.

A pilonidal cyst can turn into an abscess after infection. The common symptoms are mentioned below:

  • Redness in the skin
  • Pain
  • Flow of blood or pus from the skin
  • Foul-smelling pus

These cysts can differ in size. It may be a small one or a large, painful area.


Your doctor may ask the following questions:

  • When did you first experience the symptoms?
  • Have you had a fever?
  • Have you had this cyst earlier?
  • What medications or supplements do you take?

Physical examination will help in diagnosing a pilonidal cyst. In case of severe infection, your doctor will ask for blood tests.



The primary treatment for a pilonidal cyst can be carried out in your doctor’s office. The infected area will be numbed with a local anaesthetic agent, and then your doctor will make a small cut to drain the infected cyst.

Treatment options are listed below:

Incision and drainage. This method is recommended for a first-ever pilonidal cyst. Your doctor will drain the cyst by a small incision and remove the hair follicles, after which it is left open.

Marsupialization. In this method, after draining out the cyst, your doctor will sew the edges of the incision to form a pouch.

In some cases, the cyst will be removed with surgery. Doctors and nurses will guide you on how to take care of yourself after removing the cyst.

Since the wound will be on the cleft of the buttocks, it is important to take additional caution and care to enable healing.

You have to keep the affected area clean and shaved to avoid hair from entering the wound.

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