Pilonidal Abscess

The pilonidal region is found below the tailbone of the body and more particular on the top of your buttocks. Pilonidal abscess is the infection or cyst that occurs in this region. Due to the location and presence of hair the area is always cloudy and prone to collection of debris. For some people a small pocket is formed in this area which leads to the formation of cyst.

In Latin, the word “pilonidal” refers to cluster of hair and hence the presence of hair and debris is the main reason for the formation of pilonidal abscess. Often, this abscess will not need any treatment but you should pay attention if there is infection or pus formation in the area. The abscess alone does not pose any problem since it goes off on its own. But you need to take treatment if you get infected in the pilonidal region. Very often this abscess is found in women when compared to men.

Causes :

The presence of ingrown hairs is the main cause for getting pilonidal abscess. It gives room for the accumulation of debris which is prone to infection.

If the pilonidal area is subjected to injury or trauma there is a chance of developing an abscess. Traveling far distances in bumpy jeeps can cause trauma to your backs.

People who have excess of body hair and those who wear tight fitting under-garments are prone to get this infection. People who are obese have increased chance for developing moisture in the skin folds which leads to the formation of infection.

Often, this infection occurs on young women or teenagers who do not follow hygiene in cleaning and washing their private parts.

Symptoms :

Pilonidal abscess is characterized by the formation of cyst in the upper portion of buttocks, just above the crack. For some people the area can be painful. Inflammation is seen along the region. The area becomes swollen, red and tender with formation of pus from the cyst. In severe cases, yellowish pus drains out from the abscess causing foul smell. In that case, there will be low grade fever with body pain.

Diagnoses :

The doctor will physically examine the person and look for the cyst or abscess in the pilonidal area. He will look for the symptoms of tenderness, swelling and redness on the region.

Home Remedies :

If you have pain in the back or in the bottom of your spine due to pilonidal abscess you can try this simple remedy. Sit in the bathtub containing lukewarm water for about 15 minutes, to reduce the pain and inflammation. It will give you great relief from tenderness and body pain. You can repeat this process for 3-4 times a day.

In case you have pain you can take drugs like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen or any other anti-inflammatory drug for getting relief.

Pictures of Pilonidal Abscess :

Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Pilonidal Abscess

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Treatment :

Generally doctors do not prescribe antibiotics for clearing the cyst in the pilonidal region. He would make an incision to drain out the pus inside and to remove unwanted hair follicles in this area. Then the region is covered carefully with gauze. It is a simple procedure and can be made on out-patient basis. You need to come for dressing and changing the gauze for 3-4 weeks or until the wound is healed completely.

Marsupilization is done for removing cyst of big size. In this procedure the surgeon will make a tiny incision to drain the pus inside and he carefully removes the hair. He may suture the edges of the fibrous tract so that it takes up the shape of a pouch. There is no need for dressing or changing gauzes in this method and this surgery can be done under local anesthesia.

In severe cases the surgery is performed in operation room as the surgeon opens the area to drain out the pus inside and he will close the wound by sutures. There is every chance for you to get cyst again in any of the process.

The person who has undergone removal of cyst should take care to keep the pilonidal area clean and dry.

Prevention :

  • You have to maintain personal hygiene.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes and take bath twice a day.
  • Shave the private parts and genital area regularly to remove excess of hair growth.
  • For obese people, you need to take steps to lose weight.

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  5. Tailbone Pain

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