Perhaps you haven’t heard of pilonidal cysts yet, but chances are, you might have already experienced one and just thought of it as a simple skin problem. But when it commonly recurs, it might not just be a simple skin disease which you thought it was. It can be a pilonidal cyst. Pilonidal cysts are sometimes called as “Jeep Disease” for the reason that during the World War II, tens of thousands of soldiers developed pilonidal cysts which required for their hospitalization. Most soldiers during the war rode in jeeps which are hard to sit at thereby causing prolonged and repetitive trauma to their coccyx or sacral area, thus the term “jeep disease”. This is just one of the common causes of pilonidal cysts.
Causes of Pilonidal Cysts
Furthermore, pilonidal cysts may also be caused by genetic factors, i.e. if pilonidal cysts run in the family. Like the next preceding cause, occupations which lead to prolonged trauma or contact to the sacral area like driving the whole day, sitting in a poorly cushioned seat, etc, can lead to getting pilonidal cysts. Excessive hair growth, like in people with hirsutism, is most likely to develop pilonidal cysts since loose hair may penetrate inside the skin leading to inflammatory response. Also, people who are obese are more likely to experience this condition because of the skin folds in the buttocks which can put undue trauma or pressure to the skin.
To address this condition, here are several methods of treating Pilonidal cysts.
Pilonidal Cyst Treatment Methods
- Incision and Drainage. Incision and drainage is a procedure wherein the surgeon injects an anesthetic to the sacrum to numb the skin and adjacent areas. After the anesthetic has taken effect, the surgeon will then make a small incision. After incision has been made, the pus will then be drained, including the hair and follicles and other skin debris inside the cyst. The wound is allowed to heal and covered with gauze. Check my article on pilonidal cyst surgery and recovery if you want take this route.
If you fear the knife, there is a laser surgery as well. Check the video below!
- Antibiotic Therapy. Antibiotic therapy is necessary in order to prevent infection from happening once incision has been made. You may be required to take antibiotics for a maximum of seven days.
- Pain Relievers. Pain relievers will lessen the pain sensation once the anesthesia’s effect wears off. Pain relievers will also lessen the inflammation and swelling in the incision area.
- Hot Sitz Bath. Hot sitz bath will help soothe the inflammation and discomfort. Heat has a therapeutic effect and promotes the flow of blood into the area thereby bringing more blood, oxygen and nutrients which will speed up the healing process. Also, doing a hot sitz bath will further clean the incised area from debris and crusts which might have accumulated from drainage.
- Proper Wound Care. You will also be educated with the correct method of caring for the wound. It would be inconvenient for you to care for your own wound, since the wound is located at your back; in this case, your caregiver need to be well educated with regard to the correct principles of wound cleaning and wound dressing.
After the operation, you will need follow up checkups with your physician in order for him or her to monitor your progress and take note of any complications which might have arose during recuperation.