This is the drainage of fluid from a small sac of fluid in the skin at the base of the spine, just above the crease of the buttocks.
A pilonidal cyst is a small sac of fluid that forms in the skin at the base of the spine. It is typically just above the crease of the buttocks. It usually looks like a small depression in the skin. It may also have a few hairs sticking out of it. The exact cause of pilonidal cysts is not known. These cysts seem to form when hair follicles in the lower spine become inflamed and enlarged. When germs enter the large follicles, they can cause irritation and infection. Some factors that raise your risk of developing these cysts include:
Repeated friction in the lower spinal area can also raise the chance of a pilonidal cyst becoming irritated or infected. An example may be frequent long bumpy rides in a vehicle.
Unless they become irritated or infected, pilonidal cysts usually cause few or no symptoms. When they become infected they can cause:
If a pilonidal cyst becomes infected, it may need to be opened so the fluid inside (pus) can drain out. This minor procedure involves making a small incision in the skin over the cyst. After it is drained, the area may be closed with stitches or packed with sterile gauze. This can help it can heal slowly from the inside out, especially if the cyst was infected.
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of a pilonidal cyst.
Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider:
Make sure you understand your treatment plan, any possible alternatives and what medications are recommended (including possible side effects).
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