Causes and Risk Factors
Pilonidal disease causes an infection to develop anywhere from the base of the spine to the anus. The exact cause of the disease is unknown. Nevertheless, experts speculate that it often occurs because of infected hair follicles. Follicles can become infected because of exercise, profuse sweating, or wearing tight clothing. In other cases, a loose hair can become trapped in the buttock crease, digging into the skin. When this happens, a cyst may form around it.
After your treatment, we will provide tips and guidance to prevent recurring pilonidal disease.
Pilonidal disease can affect anyone, but it is far more likely to impact men than women. It also is more common between puberty and age 40. Obese patients and those with thick, coarse hair also face a higher risk for the condition.
Symptoms of Pilonidal Disease
In most cases, patients with pilonidal disease will develop cysts or abscesses in the area around the buttock crease. These sores can vary in severity. In some cases, they may be small, dimple-like abscesses. In other cases, patients can suffer from large, inflamed sores. Sometimes, these areas can produce pus, which may be bloody or foul-smelling. If infection is particularly severe, patients may suffer from fever or fatigue, as well.
Eventually, the initial infection will subside, either by itself or following medical care. Nevertheless, many patients can develop pilonidal sinuses. These small openings below the skin also contain hairs, and they, too, can become infected.
Treatment Options for Pilonidal Disease
In mild cases, we can often treat pilonidal disease with a conservative lancing procedure. Your doctor will create a small opening to drain the pus from the area. Simultaneously, this will reduce inflammation and discomfort. In many cases, you will also take a course of antibiotics to eliminate the infection.
If you have chronic pilonidal disease, or if you have more than one pilonidal sinus, you may require a more advanced surgery. After administering local anesthesia, your doctor will make a larger incision to remove the sinus tract and the surrounding infected tissue. In some cases, he or she may leave the incision open to heal naturally. In other situations, your surgeon may close the wound using an advanced flap technique.
After your treatment, we will provide tips and guidance to prevent recurring pilonidal disease. For example, hygiene and lifestyle changes can reduce your risk for a flare-up of the condition.
Contact Us for Further Information
If you are suffering from pilonidal disease, we can provide effective treatment for lasting relief. Contact our office today to learn more and to receive the successful care that you need.