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Home > Health Library > Pilonidal Disease
Pilonidal (say "py-luh-NY-dul") disease is a long-term skin infection. The infection develops in a cyst at the top of or next to the crease between the buttocks. The cyst may look like a small dimple, which is called a "pit" or "sinus." Hair may grow from the pit, and you may have several pits.
Experts think pilonidal cysts may form in one of three ways:
A physical exam of the buttocks is usually all doctors need to diagnose pilonidal disease. You probably won't need any other tests unless the area doesn't heal or your doctor thinks there may be another problem.
If the cyst gets infected or is a problem, your doctor may need to open and drain the cyst. This procedure can be done in your doctor's office. You may get antibiotics if the infection is severe. The cyst may take a month or more to heal.
You may need to have surgery (excision) to remove the cyst. Surgery may need to be done if:
Surgery may be done at an outpatient surgical center or hospital. It may take 6 weeks or longer to heal.
Cysts can come back after being drained. Surgery works better as a permanent cure.
While you are being treated for an infected cyst:
For cysts that are not causing symptoms or after you have had surgery to remove a cyst:
Keeping the area free of hair may also help. Talk with your doctor about what he or she recommends.
Current as of:
February 10, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: February 10, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
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