Pilonidal Sinus

What is a Pilonidal Sinus?


A pilonidal sinus is an infected hair follical, or blockage of a follical opening. It occurs under the skin between the buttocks (the natal cleft) a short distance above the anus. A hair growth or loose hair in the area between the buttocks usually causes this.

It starts as a red area that becomes more painful when an abscess develops under the skin.

More information is available from the NHS conditions website here

How did I get it?


It is just one of those things. Many young people develop a pilonidal sinus. It tends to occur mainly in young adults after puberty.

Moisture and friction between the buttocks can make the problem worse.

People who remain seated for most of the day can be prone to pilonidal sinuses.

 

Can I try to prevent it re-occuring?


Although it is impossible to completely prevent the recurrence of a pilonidal sinus, some precautions can be taken to try to prevent it re-occuring.

These include:
  • Keep the area between the buttocks clean and dry
  • Keep buttocks hair free by using hair removal cream
  • Avoid wearing tight fitting jeans or trousers all the time.

What treatment is used?


You will undergo an operation to open and drain the abscess. Sometimes the wound is left open, to allow it to heal from the inside out. This helps to prevent a recurrence.

Whilst waiting for it to heal, the area around the wound should be kept hair free to avoid infection.

Dressings will be applied to the wound once or twice daily. This will usually ben an iodine impregnated gauze or a more absorbant dressing if the wound leaks fluid. The dressing will keep the edges of the wound apart to prevent moisture or friction in the wound area.
 

Can I shower or bathe?


Yes. It is important to shower or bathe at least once a day to keep the area as clean as possible.

How long will the wound take to heal?


Every patient is different, so everyone heals at a different rate. However, the average healing time is 2 to 3 months.

What can I do to aid healing and prevent recurrence?


There are a number of actions you can take. These include:
  • Regular showers or baths at least once a day will keep the area as clean as possible
  • Keep buttocks hair free
  • Avoid wearing tight fitting jeans or trousers all the time
  • Avoid sitting for long periods of time
  • Apply dressings once or twice daily.

What can I do to aid healing and prevent recurrence?


There are a number of actions you can take. These include:
  • Regular showers or baths at least once a day will keep the area as clean as possible
  • Keep buttocks hair free
  • Avoid wearing tight fitting jeans or trousers all the time
  • Avoid sitting for long periods of time
  • Apply dressings once or twice daily.
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