What Is Pilonidal Disease

Pilonidal disease is a chronic skin infection in the upper part of the buttock crease resulting from hairs embedded in the skin.

Some people with copious hair growth in the region of the buttocks may have a few hairs growing into the skin and irritating the skin in the crease between the buttocks. No specific reasons can be attributed to the occurrence of this condition but it is more often found in hairy, white men in the age group 20-40 years. Occasionally, women also may develop this condition.

The ingrown hairs irritating the skin result in the formation of a cyst containing hairs inside. This pilonidal cyst may remain without causing any problems or it may contract infections and get filled with pus, becoming a pilonidal abscess. It may result in redness, swelling and pain in the area. The abscess has to be drained by cutting it open, usually in the doctor’s office.

Eventually, a large space filled with fluid and pus forms under the skin with a few openings on the skin surface through which it keeps draining pus. This is called a pilonidal sinus. The tiny holes oozing pus is a characteristic symptom of pilonidal disease and the diagnosis of the condition can be made based on this. Surgery is often necessary for exposing the sinus and facilitating healing.

After the disease is cured by surgery, the patients are advised to keep the area hair free by regular shaving or by using hair removal lotions every two or three weeks, to avoid recurrence.

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Yasser Elnahas

MD, PHD, Professor Of CardioVascular Surgery
Dr. Yasser Elnahas, Is an associate Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Elnahas was trained as a fellow At Texas Heart Institute And Mayo Clinic Foundation.Dr. Elnahas is dedicated to educating the general public about different disease conditions and simplifying the medical knowledge in an easy to understand terminology.

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