Pilonidal Cyst Specialist

Colon and Rectal Surgeons & Proctologists located in Merrifield and Fair Oaks, Fairfax, Alexandria, Gainesville and Lansdowne, VA

Pilonidal Cyst Specialist

About Pilonidal Cyst Consultations offered in Merrifield and Fair Oaks, Fairfax, Alexandria, Gainesville and Lansdowne, VA

A pilonidal cyst starts as a small painful bump at the buttock cleft. While it may be embarrassing to seek care, these cysts require medical attention to prevent complications such as infection and abscess. The Fairfax Colon & Rectal Surgery, PC specialists provide quick in-office care for acute pilonidal cysts. They also offer more complex care if your cyst has become a chronic problem. Schedule an evaluation today. Call their office in Fairfax, Fair Oaks, Alexandria, Gainesville, Woodbridge, or Lansdowne, Virginia. Or use their secure online service to request an appointment.

Pilonidal Cyst Q & A

What is a pilonidal cyst?

A pilonidal cyst is an air or fluid-filled pocket that forms in the skin, usually at the tailbone area near the top of the buttock cleft. However, a pilonidal cyst can develop closer to the anus. These cysts also contain ingrown hair and other skin debris, making them vulnerable to infection and abscess formation.

Symptoms of an abscess include spreading warmth, pain, and redness. You may also notice foul-smelling or bloody drainage from the area periodically. The drainage often provides temporary relief, but symptoms return as the skin cavity fills again with bacteria and pus. 

Over time, the abscess pocket can enlarge significantly and cause extreme pain. Early in-office treatment of a pilonidal cyst helps prevent abscess formation.

What causes pilonidal cysts?

It’s not always clear what causes pilonidal cysts, but most appear to be triggered by hairs penetrating the skin. Tight clothing, prolonged sitting, or activities such as cycling may create friction and pressure that force hair downward into the skin. Your body responds by creating a protective pocket around the area that eventually becomes a cyst.

Factors that may increase your risk of developing a pilonidal cyst include:

  • Excess weight
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Occupation requiring prolonged sitting
  • Excess body hair
  • Stiff or coarse body hair

The condition is more common in teens and adults in their 20s and early 30s. Men are three times more likely than women to develop pilonidal cysts.

How do you treat pilonidal cysts?

Your FCRS provider treats pilonidal cysts based on their size. A small cyst usually responds well to an in-office incision and drainage. The area is first numbed with a topical anesthetic to prevent discomfort. It generally takes about three weeks for the site to heal completely.

A large or recurrent abscess may require surgical treatment. During this outpatient procedure, your provider makes an incision to open the cyst and clean away the inner material. The wound is then packed with gauze to promote healing from the bottom up and prevent wound edges from closing before that occurs.

Your FCRS team provides detailed care instructions since you will need to clean and repack the wound frequently during the healing phase. It can take weeks to months for a large abscess to heal.

Schedule an appointment at FCRS today for pilonidal cyst treatment. Call their office or request an appointment online.  

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