What is it?
Pilonidal disease is a chronic skin infection that develops in the crease between the buttocks. If you have pilonidal disease, you will have one or more cysts, between your buttocks, that may become swollen or infected. A pilonidal cyst looks like a small dimple and it may have hair sticking out from it.
What are the symptoms?
When it’s infected, a pilonidal cyst becomes a swollen mass (abscess). Signs and symptoms of an infected pilonidal cyst include: * Pain * Reddening of the skin * Drainage of pus or blood from an opening in the skin * Foul smell from draining pus
You can reduce the risk of bacteria spreading by: * washing your hands regularly * encouraging people in your family to wash their hands regularly * using separate towels and not sharing baths * waiting until your skin abscess is fully treated and healed before using any communal equipment, such as gym equipment, saunas or swimming pools
- Don’t squeeze the pus out of the cyst yourself, because this can easily spread the bacteria to other areas of your skin.
Things to watch out for
Small cyst may drain naturally, or dry up and disappear without any treatment. GP should be contacted if pain is severe as larger abscesses may need antibiotics to clear the infection