Pilonidal Cyst Overview
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A pilonidal cyst is a cystic structure that develops along the tailbone (coccyx) near the cleft of the buttocks, approximately 4 cm-5 cm from the anus. These cysts usually contain hair and skin debris. Individuals with a pilonidal cyst may not have any symptoms at all (termed asymptomatic), whereas others may develop an infection of the cyst with associated pain and inflammation. The treatment and management of pilonidal cysts depends on many factors, including the extent and chronicity of the disease. Recurrence of pilonidal cysts is common and is estimated to occur in approximately 40%-50% of individuals.
Pilonidal cysts were first described in 1833 by Herbert Mayo. The term pilonidal is derived from the Latin words "pilus" (hair) and "nidus" (nest) and was coined in 1880 by R.M. Hodge. The incidence of pilonidal cysts has been estimated to be about 26 cases per 100,000 people. Pilonidal cysts occur more frequently in men than in women, and they are more common in Caucasians than in other racial groups. Pilonidal cysts usually occur between the ages of 15 to 24, and their development is uncommon after the age of 40.
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