Pilonidal Sinus

What is Pilonidal disease and sinus?

Pilonidal disease is a chronic infection of the skin in the region of the buttock crease. The condition results from a reaction to hairs embedded in the skin. The sinus are a cavity below the skin surface that connects to the surface with one or more small openings or tracts.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms vary from a small dimple to a large painful mass. Often fluid may drain from the area. There may be fever, malaise, or nausea.

Patients have an episode of an acute abscess, after the abscess resolves patients may develop a pilonidal sinus.

Some patients develop recurrent infections and inflammation of these sinus tracts. The chronic disease causes episodes of swelling, pain, and drainage.

How is pilonidal disease treated?

An acute abscess is managed with an incision and drained to release the pus, performed as outdoor procedure with local anesthesia. A chronic sinus or recurrent disease must be excised or surgically opened.

If the wound can be closed, it is to be kept clean and dry until the skin is completely healed. If the wound is left open, dressings are required.

After healing, the skin in the buttocks crease must be kept clean and free of hair.

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