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Pilonidal Cyst (cont.)

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Who is at risk for developing a pilonidal cyst?

The incidence of pilonidal disease is approximately 26 cases per 100,000 people. Pilonidal disease generally occurs in people between the ages of 15-24, and it is very uncommon in individuals over the age of 40. Males are more frequently affected than females, and it is more common in white individuals. Other risk factors associated with the development of pilonidal disease include a family history of pilonidal cysts, occupations that require prolonged periods of sitting, local trauma, obesity, hirsute (hairy or having copious hair) individuals, and the presence of a deep cleft between the buttocks.

What are the signs and symptoms of a pilonidal cyst?

Certain individuals with a pilonidal cyst may not have any symptoms at all, and the only finding may be a dimple or an opening in the skin (sinus tract) near the cleft of the buttocks. However, if the pilonidal cyst becomes infected (pilonidal abscess), the following signs and symptoms may develop:

  • Pain over the lower spine
  • Redness of the skin
  • Warmth of the skin
  • Localized swelling over the lower spine
  • Drainage of pus from an opening in the skin (sinus tract) over the lower spine
  • Fever (uncommon)

Though much less common, pilonidal cysts can also develop in other areas of the body, such as the hands.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/30/2014

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