Pilonidal cysts are a common problem that can make it difficult to sit, stand, or move around. Fortunately, with a proper diagnosis, they’re easy to treat. At Wound Evolution - Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine in Fort Worth, Texas, wound care specialists Ashley Huddleston, MD, Autumn Savage, DO, CWS-P, and the team have years of experience providing holistic, synergistic treatments for pilonidal cysts. If you or a loved one is suffering, schedule an appointment by calling or booking online today.
Pilonidal cysts are round, swollen abscesses that occur at the bottom of the tailbone, just above the cleft of the buttocks. They form when hair punctures your skin and becomes embedded.
Anyone can experience a pilonidal cyst, but they’re especially common in young men and people who sit for prolonged periods of time, including pilots and truck and bus drivers.
In their early stages, pilonidal cysts present very few symptoms. As the embedded hair becomes infected, signs include:
As a pilonidal cyst grows larger, you might also notice pus or blood draining from an opening in your skin.
Pilonidal cysts affect people of all ages, genders, and races, but certain factors may increase your risk, including:
You’re also more likely to experience a pilonidal cyst if your hair is stiff or course.
The team at Wound Evolution - Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine diagnosis pilonidal cysts by reviewing your medical history, asking about your symptoms and lifestyle, and reviewing your medical history. To prepare for an exam, you pull down your pants to your ankles and lie face down on an exam table.
A quick visual exam of your lower back and tailbone area is usually enough to make a diagnosis. If your provider suspects an infection, they may also order blood tests to determine your white blood cell count.
Treatment of pilonidal cysts involves a quick, in-office procedure. First, your Wound Evolution provider numbs the area around your cyst with a local anesthetic. Once the anesthesia sets in, your provider makes a small incision and drains the cyst.
Sometimes, pilonidal cysts recur. If this happens, a more extensive surgical procedure may be necessary. Following surgery, your provider may choose to leave the wound open or they may close it with stitches.
To encourage healing, Wound Evolution might recommend hyperbaric oxygen therapy or topical treatment with bioengineered skin grafts. To achieve the best results, follow your provider’s instructions about wound care. Change your dressings regularly and take any medications as prescribed.
If pilonidal cysts negatively affect your quality of life, schedule an appointment at Wound Evolution - Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine. Call or book online today.