What is Pilonidal Disease?
Pilonidal Disease is a chronic infection of the skin resulting from a reaction to hairs embedded in the skin, commonly occurring in the cleft between the buttocks. The disease is more common in men than women and frequently occurs between puberty and age 40. It is also common in obese people and those with thick, stiff body hair.
Symptoms vary from a small dimple to a large painful mass. Often the area will drain fluid that may be clear, cloudy or bloody. With infection, the area becomes red, tender, and the drainage (pus) will have a foul smell. Nearly all patients have an episode of an acute abscess (the area is swollen, tender, and may drain pus).
What is Pilonidal Sinus?
After the abscess resolves, either by itself or with medical assistance, many patients develop a pilonidal sinus. The sinus is a cavity below the skin surface that connects to the surface with one or more small openings or tracts. Although a few of these sinus tracts may resolve without treatment, most patients need an operation to get rid of them.