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A pilonidal sinus does not always produce symptoms, and treatment of pilonidal sinus is needed only when infected. When a pilonidal cyst becomes infected, it forms an abscess, ultimately draining pus out of the sinus. 

Pilonidal Sinus: Overview

A pilonidal cyst is an abnormal pocket of the skin, which typically contains hair and dermal fragments. It is also called pilonidal cyst disease, intergluteal pilonidal disorder, or pilonidal sinus. 

If you have had a pilonidal cyst in the past, you may need to shave regularly in this area or use a hair-removing product to lower your risk of getting one again. Once the abscess has healed, either by itself or through treatment, the pilonidal sinus can develop.

Causes and Risks

Pilonidal problems are caused by factors related to the deep gulf, or crevice, between the buttocks and one cheek, an area called the natal disc.

  • Hair and Debris: It is a skin condition that occurs increases on your buttocks - anywhere from your tailbone to your anus. This buildup of hair and debris may get infected, and the abscess can develop. 

  • Skin Problems: Skin problems, pressure, or friction may result in the hair between your buttocks being pulled inside. 

  • Recurrent Pilonidal Cysts: If not treated for recurrent cysts, recurrent pilonidal cysts may also cause abscesses (swollen pockets of infection) and sinus cavities (empty spaces under the skin).    

  • Fluid or Pus in the Skin: It can be filled with fluid or pus, leading to a cyst or abscess. 

  • Infected Lump: Once the blob becomes infected, it quickly becomes either a cyst (a closed pouch filled with fluid) or an abscess (a swollen, inflamed tissue in which pus is collected).    

People who have a pilonidal sinus must care for the area to prevent abscesses and infections from occurring in the future. Keeping the area clean and hair-free may help prevent infection and a new cyst. 

If chronically infected pilonidal cysts are not treated correctly, you can have a slightly increased risk of developing a skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Consult our surgeons at Altec Hospital, Amritsar to get the best treatment of pilonidal sinus and eliminate the potential risks.

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