Pilonidal Cyst: Don’t Let It Become a Pain in Your Butt
When a large and painful bump develops between your buttocks, you might not know what it is or how to get rid of it. However, the bump on your bottom is likely called a pilonidal cyst, and as you likely know, these cysts can be painful and even debilitating.
A pilonidal cyst generally develops in the cleft between your buttocks just below your tailbone. The growth can go away and return multiple times, so the cyst may be difficult to treat at home. Some people develop more than one pilonidal cyst between their buttocks.
You can find comfort and relief from your pilonidal cyst with the information, treatments, and preventative tips below.
How Does a Pilonidal Cyst Form?
Although it’s not quite understood why cysts form between the buttocks, embedded hair may be a reason. Different factors, such as friction and pressure, can push hair deep into your skin and form a pit, or dimpling of the skin.
Other sources believe that cysts develop when hair follicles “explode” or rupture beneath the skin. Your immune system then tries to contain the ruptured hair follicle by enclosing a sac around it. As with trapped hair, a pit develops at the site.
Embedded hair and ruptured hair follicles aren’t the only possible causes for pilonidal cysts. Trauma, injury, or stress on the skin may potentially cause growths as well. For example, if you tend to sit all day at work, you may place pressure on the cleft between your buttocks. Hair and other debris may then enter the fragile tissue and form a cyst.
Why Does the Cyst Hurt?
Most people don’t know that they have a cyst until bacteria infect it. The infection can grow large enough to cause significant pain, particularly when you sit down in a chair. Movement can then become an issue if the infection affects the sensory tissues in your buttocks and near your tailbone.
A pilonidal cyst can also develop multiple tracts, or tunnels, beneath the skin. These tunnels are called sinuses, and they can allow bacteria to travel to nearby tissues. You might also notice smelly pus leaking from the pit of your pilonidal cysts. This may indicate that a cyst ruptured beneath the skin.
You should never try to bring a pilonidal cyst to head yourself. Squeezing the sac could push contaminants further into your skin. In addition, bacteria could create more cysts in your buttocks.
How Do You Treat a Pilonidal Cyst?
A dermatologist may surgically drain or remove a cyst to prevent the infection from spreading. If your cyst has opened up already, your healthcare provider may instruct you to take antibiotics before they treat the growth. Antibiotics can also help reduce the spread of infection into your buttocks and blood.
Your dermatologist may pack the treatment site to help it close up and heal better. Although packing may slow down your healing time, it can help prevent the cyst from coming back. Some specialists stitch up the site after surgery, but this treatment option may not be for everyone. Cysts may return with the stitch method.
You can keep cysts away after treatment by taking breaks and standing up during work. You want to keep pressure from your bottom as much as possible. In addition, be sure to change out of your gear and workout clothes after every exercise session. Sweaty clothing can harbor germs that may infect your skin.
If you have other concerns about the bump on your buttocks, or if you need to make an appointment, contact the dermatology specialists at Asheboro Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center immediately. We can provide you with the appropriate treatment so your pilonidal cyst doesn’t become worse.