Symptoms and Signs of Pilonidal Cyst

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 9/24/2021

Doctor's Notes on Pilonidal Cyst

A pilonidal cyst is a structure that develops along the tailbone at or near the cleft of the buttocks and rarely elsewhere on the body. Signs and symptoms include pain over the lower spine, skin redness, warmth, and swelling with drainage of pus. A few patients may develop fevers.

Most researchers think that pilonidal cysts are caused by penetration of loose hairs into the skin (ingrown hairs) along with skin debris. Repetitive pressure and/or trauma to the lower back is thought to increase the development or even cause pilonidal cysts.

What Are the Treatments for a Pilonidal Cyst?

Treatment of pilonidal cysts have several options:

  • Incision and drainage: The doctor cuts into the cyst, drains it, removes any hair follicles, and packs wound with gauze.
  • Marsupialization: The treatment is the same as above except without gauze; sew the edges to make a pouch.
  • Incision, drainage and wound closure: The treatment is as above except the wound is completely closed.
  • Use Fibrin glue to close the wound.
  • Use a punch biopsy tool to take out diseased tissue.

Your doctor can choose the best treatment for your condition.

Must Read Articles:


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.