A pilonidal abscess results when a pilonidal cyst becomes infected. This is a condition that often occurs in the flat area above the buttocks known as the gluteal cleft. A cyst forms when hair imbeds into the skin causing irritation and inflammation and eventually developing into a growth, or cyst. A cyst can be a nuisance causing discomfort and affecting physical movements, but it is easily treated. However, more advanced treatment is required when the cyst becomes infected and escalates to a pilonidal abscess.
What Can Be Done to Prevent a Pilonidal Abscess?
Preventing infection is the best way to avoid a pilonidal abscess. This is accomplished by having a doctor lance and medically treat the cyst site. Provided good hygiene practices are maintained to keep the cyst area clean, recurrence and a subsequent pilonidal abscess are avoided. It is also advisable to avoid prolonged sitting with periodic walks to stimulate circulation.
Practicing good personal hygiene by cleansing the gluteal cleft area is also recommended. Getting rid of any dense hair growth above the buttocks by shaving or laser hair removal is advised. All of these methods are helpful in avoiding a pilonidal abscess.
What Are the Pilonidal Abscess Symptoms?
It’s possible for a pilonidal cyst to be overlooked. Symptoms are often minimal, and if the cyst is noticed, a person might think the growth will go away. However, when a cyst becomes a pilonidal abscess, symptoms are more advanced and can interfere with daily living.
A pilonidal abscess means the cyst site became infected so pain is the most common symptom and intensity can elevate to acute pain. Additional symptoms can include:
- Swelling and redness of the area
- Pus leakage
Presence of a pilonidal abscess can affect walking and sitting since it’s painful or uncomfortable to move around.
If any of these symptoms manifest, the experts at Pilonidal Cyst Surgery Center can be consulted to discuss treatment options.