Is a pilonidal cyst dangerous?

If you’re reading this you either think you or someone you may know has a pilonidal cyst or have already been diagnosed with one and are wondering if they are life threatening or dangerous. Thankfully you can live with one and they are only life threatening in very extreme cases, however they are not in any way pleasant or comfortable and should be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional. 

A pilonidal cyst usually consists of a raised red or swollen mass or lump just above the area of the tailbone. This lump is usually filled with fluid, hair, and other debris and when infected can have a foul odor and ooze blood and pus. Signs and symptoms usually include itching, and pain in that area and becoming more painful when sitting or wearing tight fitting clothes. 

You or someone you may know can also have a predisposition to obtaining a pilonidal cyst making them more likely to happen and happen chronically. Jobs or professions which involve sitting for long periods of time also increase the likelihood of a pilonidal cyst and can make them worse. Pilonidal cysts have been noted to occur more often to people who are obese and to people who wear tighter fitting clothes around their midsection. Tighter clothing in that area can cause more friction irritating the area and may cause hair in that area to become impacted as well as sweat to build up leading to a pilonidal sinus.

What is a pilonidal sinus?

A pilonidal sinus is a hole or small cavity that starts at surface level and goes under your skin. Some people again are predisposed to this condition, some may not even be aware that they have it, and it is generally harmless. If you are aware that you have it you can take precautions like removing any hair from your lower back, wearing loose fitting clothing around your midsection, staying in a healthy weight range, and keeping the area as clean and dry as possible. This will help to reduce the chances of developing both a pilonidal cyst or a pilonidal sinus as well as keeping them from becoming infected if developed.

Can you leave a pilonidal cyst untreated?

It is always best to consult your doctor or a medical professional for a diagnosis, recommendation, and treatment, however you can leave a pilonidal cyst untreated if it is asymptomatic. Sometimes the cyst may “go away” on its own, which are cysts that become completely asymptomatic and may remain so permanently. 

Can you live with a pilonidal cyst?

You can live with a pilonidal cyst, they are only life threatening in rare and extreme cases, however most of the time they are just painful and unpleasant. A pilonidal sinus require treatment when they become infected. To prevent it from progressing it is highly recommended to consult a medical professional.

Are pilonidal cysts harmless?

Pilonidal cysts are uncomfortable and can be painful and can become worse. Though they may not necessarily be life threatening, they may lead to complications if not treated in the earlier phases.

Are there any home remedies for a pilonidal cyst?

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.

Do pilonidal cysts need to be removed?

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. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from a pilonidal sinus or cyst, Los Angeles is home to one of the best colorectal surgeons named Dr. Allen Kamrava. He treats every patient like his only one, giving exceptional care to each individual. To schedule an appointment to alleviate your pain call (424)279-8222.

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