Around 70,000 people in the US will need to be treated for Pilonidal Cysts every year. A pilonidal cyst is a liquid-filled bump or sac that forms near the crease of the buttocks. While some are not visible, others look like a small pit or a dimple. These bumps can cause:
- Pain and swelling around the infected region
- Fever and inflammation
- Pus and blood leaking from openings within the cyst (Sinus Tract)
Pilonidal cysts are usually formed when loose hair and dead skin become trapped under the skin. This happens because the skin in the tailbone region is very flexible. Hair and dead skin can break off only to be pushed back under the skin during movement. This hair and dead skin is treated as an infection by your immune system leading to the growth.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a Pilonidal Cyst, use this handy guide to decide which treatment option works best for you.
While most Pilonidal cysts will require surgery at some point but there are some options for you if you decide to not go the surgery route.
- Army Method – Studies show that patients who treat their cyst by shaving a 5cm strip region between the anus and rectum and proper and consistent hygiene, can get back to normal status quickly. Other studies dispute this however and argue that regular shaving increases the chance of cyst reoccurrence.
- Laser Treatment – Laser epilation has been tried on pilonidal cysts, and while the treatment did lead to less reoccurrence of cysts, can be costly and require multiple treatments.
- Drugs and New Methods – Phenol (sore throat spray) has been used as a first-line treatment drug since the 1970s. Phenol has been proven to reduce pain, work impairment, and time needed to clean the wound. Some medical specialists have considered treating cysts with platelet-rich plasma to increase recovery time.
The truth is however that the majority of pilonidal cysts are still treated surgically. Surgeries make reoccurrence less likely, and can you get back to work the same day. They are also less likely to need other treatments, and 76% of surgical treatments lead to a cure.
Surgical treatments vary greatly depending on the size and nature of the pilonidal cysts. However, most cyst surgeries result in small incisions and quick cleanup of blood, pus, and other debris. Fortunately, the after-surgery pain is minimal and you should feel better in a few days.
If you or a loved one has questions about treatment options for your pilonidal cyst, speak to a medical professional today!