What is Pilonidal Sinus?
Sinus is a term that is associated with the nose but it can be found anywhere and medically it means a channel or cavity. A pilonidal sinus is a small tunnel in the skin and is found in the cracks of the buttock. Pilonidal sinus disease, PNS is the inflammation of the hair follicles that starts from the sacrum to the anus. During this condition, a cyst or abscess occurs and can lead to severe pain if it gets infected. If you believe that you have a PNS contact a pilonidal sinus doctor for treatment as the pain may get worse.
Pilonidal Sinus Symptoms
There are not many signs of PNS when it starts initially other than a small dimple on the skin. But if the dimple-like depression gets infected then it will soon form a cyst or an abscess. A cyst is a sac filled with fluid and an abscess is a swollen tissue where the pus gets filled. When it gets infected you will notice symptoms like:
- Pain when you sit or stand affecting your daily activities
- Unable to sleep due to pain
- Sore skin or redness around the area of the cyst
- Swelling of the cyst
- Foul odour due to infection and pus
- Pus from the abscess
- Forming more than one sinus or hole in the skin
- Hair from the lesion
- A low fever which is not common
Who is at Risk?
Pilonidal sinus risk factors that make one person more susceptible than others are:
- Men are more at risk of this disease than women
- People in the age group of 30 to 45 are more likely to develop sinus than those under or over it.
- People who sit for a long time like driver’s riding a vehicle slouching have higher chances of this disease.
- People who are not physically active and lead a sedentary lifestyle.
- People who have too much body hair especially in the buttock region.
- People who sweat excessively.
- People who do not follow proper hygiene
- People who are overweight or obese.
Pilonidal Sinus Causes
The reasons for pilonidal sinus is not yet known but it is believed to be caused due to a combination of factors. The causes are:
- Change in hormonal levels due to puberty
- Growth of hair
- The friction generated from the clothes
- Not following proper hygiene.
- Sitting for a long period of time.
A person may have one or more sinuses that connect under the skin and hence can form many types of pilonidal sinus. Due to any of the above activities, there is friction on the hair in the buttock. The body launches an immune response thinking that it is a foreign particle. That results in the formation of a cyst around the skin.
How is Pilonidal Sinus Diagnosed?
Pilonidal sinus diagnosis is done by a doctor by doing a thorough physical examination. The doctor recognizes a pilonidal cyst. It is swelling, lump, or an abscess that is visible at the cleft of the button. The location of the cyst is an indication of it being a pilonidal cyst. It is usually tender and if the sinus is infected there will be pus-filled in the abscess.
If the infection is severe and is associated with fever, a blood test may be ordered for diagnosis to check if it has spread and also the level of infection. There is no need for further tests like imaging, X-rays, etc to check for PNS cysts.
How is Pilonidal Sinus Treated?
The pilonidal sinus treatment options are:
- Conservative treatment: If the sinus is diagnosed early and there is no pain or inflammation the doctor will prescribe a medicine for pilonidal sinus which can be an antibiotic to treat the infection. After taking the prescribed dose, there will be a followup to remove any hair from the site.
- Lancing: If the site is infected, the doctor does this procedure to remove pus and remove any blood or hair from the abscess.
- Surgery: If you have PNS often it is possible that there are multiple sinuses. In that case, a general surgeon will perform a procedure to open the lesion, remove the pus and debris.
PNS is extremely painful and if found early can be treated with medications. Consult our qualified doctors at Cure.fit to get a proper diagnosis and early treatment for pilonidal sinus cure.
How can Pilonidal Sinus be prevented?
The prevention of pilonidal sinus is done by minimizing the risk of a flareup. It involves:
- Maintaining proper hygiene by washing and cleaning the area properly.
- Keep the area clean by removing hair from the buttock and surrounding parts.
- Do not wear tight clothes or material that chafes the skin.
- Wearing loose clothes not only prevents friction but also prevents infection and inflammation.
- Correct your sitting posture so that it does not aggravate the tailbone.
- Use a pillow or a cushion to prevent pressure on the tailbone
- Avoid sitting for too long or change positions frequently to relieve pressure.