Pilonidal Disease

What is pilonidal disease?

Pilonidal disease is a chronic infection of the skin in the area of the buttock crease. The infection develops in a cyst (pilonidal cyst) at the top of or next to the crease of the buttocks. A pilonidal cyst is a closed sac under the skin. The cyst may look like a small dimple, called a “pit” or “sinus”. Hair may protrude from the pit, and several pits may be seen. Pilonidal cysts usually do not cause problems unless they become infected.

What causes pilonidal disease?

The cause of a pilonidal disease is not clear. It may be caused by a hair follicle in the skin that becomes blocked and then infected. The disease is more common in men than women and often occurs between puberty and age 40.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of pilonidal disease include:

What is the treatment for pilonidal disease?

Based on the symptoms and the disease pattern, pilonidal disease can be divided into 3 categories, which determine the most appropriate treatment.