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 in Fort Worth, Dallas, San Antonio, Texas, and Overland Park, Kansas, the team of wound care specialists 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.

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What Are Pilonidal Cysts?

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 then becomes embedded. If the cyst becomes infected, it can result in a painful abscess.

Anyone can experience a pilonidal cyst, but they’re especially common in young men and people who sit for prolonged periods of time. This includes those who are pilots and truck and bus drivers. In many cases, pilonidal cysts can become recurring.

What Are the Symptoms of Pilonidal Cysts?

In their early stages, pilonidal cysts present very few symptoms. As the embedded hair becomes infected, signs include:

  • Pain
  • Red or irritated skin
  • A foul smell
  • A sensation of warmth

As a pilonidal cyst grows larger, you might also notice pus or blood draining from an opening in your skin.

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Who Is at Risk of Developing Pilonidal Cysts?

Pilonidal cysts affect people of all ages, genders, and races, but certain factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Being a male
  • Being obese
  • Living an inactive or sedentary lifestyle
  • Working a job that requires long periods of sitting
  • Having excess body hair

You’re also more likely to experience a pilonidal cyst if your hair is stiff or coarse.

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How Are Pilonidal Cysts Diagnosed?

The Wound Evolution - Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine team diagnose pilonidal cysts by reviewing your medical history, asking about your symptoms and lifestyle, and evaluating the affected area. To prepare for an exam, you will be asked to 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. 

How Are Pilonidal Cysts Treated?

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.

Wound Evolution might recommend hyperbaric oxygen therapy or topical treatment with bioengineered skin grafts to encourage healing. To achieve the best results, follow your provider’s instructions about wound care. Change your dressings regularly and take any medications as prescribed.

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How Are Pilonidal Cysts Treated?

If pilonidal cysts negatively affect your quality of life, schedule an appointment at Wound Evolution - Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine. Our specialists can help you find lasting relief from pilonidal cysts. Call one of our convenient office locations or book your appointment online today.

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