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Pilonidal Cyst Definition & Overview

Definition

A pilonidal cyst is a fluid-filled defect. It is found at the base of the spine, or “tailbone” area.

The terms cyst, sinus, and abscess refer to different stages of the disease process.

  • Cyst—not infected
  • Abscess—pocket of pus
  • Sinus—opening between a cyst (or other internal structure) and the outside

When a pilonidal cyst is infected, it forms an abscess, eventually draining pus through a sinus. Pilonidal cysts are harmless until they get infected. At this point they form an abscess that causes pain, a foul smell, and drainage. This is more likely to occur in young Caucasian men with a lot of hair in the region.

This condition is not serious, but since it is an infection like a boil or carbuncle , it can enlarge and become uncomfortable. Therefore, it should be treated.

Pilonidal Cysts

Pilonidal cyst
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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