Pilonidal sinus also called pilonidal abscess, pilonidal cyst or sacrococcygeal fistula is small pit that appears near or on the natal cleft and is filled with hair and skin debris.
Word pilonidal actually means ‘nest of hairs’. The pilonidal tract actually is a sinus that has hairs and it is located under the skin between the buttocks (above the anus). However, pilonidal sinus can appear in other parts of the body, as well.
The actual cause of the pilonidal sinus is still not scientifically proven, but some experts believe that it is minor abnormality that a person is born with and is linked with the fact that there are more family members with this problem. Other experts explain that development of skin dimples that is a result of friction that caused damage to the small structures below the skin, that is responsible for making hairs and as a result of local pressure in your skin pits the growing hair in the natal cleft can be pushed. When the hair fragments are being stuck there, inflammation and irritation occurs. This actually is the cause for the pilonidal sinus.
Certain factors increase the risk of this condition, including:
-job that requires long hours of sitting
-family history of the condition
-injury or previous irritation to the affected area
-having hairy, deep natal cleft
Doctors explain that symptoms are not noticeable immediately after having it. In fact, symptoms occur afterwards and can be ‘acute’ or chronic. First thing that patients notice is painless lump at the affected area. After certain period of time they start having pain causes by skin infection that is developing. Until the sinus is tread and completely healed, you will feel pain and have discharge.
How to treat it?
If there are chronic symptoms, surgical operation is solution. The solutions are plastic surgery, excision and primary closure or wide excision and healing by secondary intention.
But, if there aren’t any symptoms at all, you simply should shave or to use different methods of hair removing.
It is extremely important to keep that area clean.
If there are rapid-onset or acute symptoms, the doctor will prescribe you antibiotics and painkillers like ibuprofen and paracetamol.