How to Treat Pilonidal Sinus?

Pilonidal sinuses affected about 70,000 people annually in the United States alone. A painful skin infection, a pilonidal sinus is best described as an abnormal mass usually found at the top crease of the buttocks but can develop anywhere between the anus and the lower spine. While men are usually troubled by this skin condition (they develop thick and coarse hair in the bottom region after puberty), women can also develop pilonidal sinuses. 

Can a pilonidal sinus heal on its own?

Pilonidal sinuses do not fully heal on their own, instead, the symptoms and the size of the sinus can go away after some changes to your day-to-day routine, and introducing some hygienic practices. If a pilonidal sinus becomes asymptomatic, it may not require any treatment. Even though it has gone quiet, it is still there. But that is the key, your physician should be treating you because the pilonidal cyst symptoms are problematic, not because the cysts in of themselves are dangerous if left untreated. There are many people that have asymptomatic cysts that are untreated, and this is perfectly safe and fine. 

How can I fix my pilonidal sinus at home?

Generally speaking, a controlled drainage by a physician is considered optimal to allowing a cyst to drain on its own. The main reason is that once a cyst starts draining, it is important to ensure that it fully drains. Infections become more complex when they partially drain, and then immediately recur before they have fully resolved. 

How long does it take for pilonidal sinus to heal?

The treatment route determines the amount of time it takes for a pilonidal sinus to heal. 

  • Cyst drainage:
    In this outpatient or same-day procedure, the medical provider would make a small incision allowing the cyst to drain itself of the fluid, hair, or debris trapped inside. It is important to note, cyst drainage is NOT curative. It is a temporary procedure to deal with an active infection of a cyst, not the cyst itself. After drainage, the cyst should revert back to its “normal” state within a couple of weeks. 
  • Phenol injections:
    Phenol injections apply chemicals into the cyst, with the goal of putting the cyst into an active healing state whichwould allow it to eventually close the cyst. Treatment time for phenol can vary, from a few weeks to a few months. Average is a couple of months.
  • Surgery:
    There are various surgeries offered. In the end, it is important to understand the cure rate of the specific surgery your surgeon is offering, and their comfort level with that particular approach. Each surgery has its own risks and benefits, which include the healing times and cure rates.

How do you permanently get rid of pilonidal sinusitis?

While at-home remedies can alleviate the symptoms and the pain that accompanies a pilonidal sinus, medical intervention is the route that can provide the best results. It is important to note, there is no way to guarantee a pilonidal sinus will not return as every case is different, but consulting a colorectal specialist –someone who has worked with this type of skin infection– will lessen the likelihood of recurrence. Dr. Kamrava always stresses, that any surgeon that offers 100% results, or perfect results, is either lying or has not performed enough surgery. There is no treatment that works in 100% of patients. 

Who to see for recurrent or complex cases of pilonidal sinuses?

If you are experiencing recurrent cases of pilonidal sinuses, or if you have developed multiple tracts, your General Practitioner will more than likely refer you to a Colorectal Surgeon. Board-certified surgeons, colorectal specialists treat a variety of colorectal diseases including anal fissures, fistulas, colon, and anal cancer. Their specialized training and board examinations include advanced treatments of pilonidal cysts. Offering treatment to solve the root of the issue, Colorectal Surgeons can help put your mind at ease.

Los Angeles Board-certified Colorectal Surgeon

Are you looking for relief from a pilonidal sinus? Dr. Kamrava is the surgeon for you! Based in Los Angeles, Dr. Kamrava has many years of experience and offers his patients compassionate care, as well as results. Call (424)279-8222 to schedule an appointment today.

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