Main Article on Pilonidal Cyst Question: What treatment was effective for your pilonidal cyst? Submit Your Comment Comment from: Jb274, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 14 I have had this embarrassing cyst as well. I only noticed my pilonidal cyst about a year ago but realized I have had it much longer. I always wondered how I would wake up with watery blood stains on my bedsheets or in my underwear, tile one day I bent right over in front of a mirror and noticed that there were two little holes. I found out what it was and today I noticed a huge lump above the holes, pressed on it real hard and blood oozed out. I feel a bit of relief, swelling went down and no doctor needed! Comment from: Trevbot, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: January 15 My husband is having a lot of pain in his scrotum four days after having a cystoscopy. The urologist didn't mention this as a possible after effect from the procedure. He also passed significant blood. The doctor says he has a testicle infection and he has been put on antibiotics. Comment from: Jeff, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 17 I've had my pilonidal cyst for 14 years and am looking to have it removed by a surgeon. I have seen multiple doctors for it over the years and none of the less invasive procedures worked. So I am getting that cyst removed. The pain and embarrassment I have had with it over the decade plus has been overwhelming at times. When the blood and pus get to be too much I would lance it with a pin or needle myself and drain it. I was always hesitant to get a major procedure done because I was told by one doctor it would just go away on its own by my mid-30s. Well, now I am 40 and I am done with it. Major surgery it is; 4 to 12 weeks off to heal. From what I have read from others the pain is unbearable, but I think living with this is worse. Only those who have them will understand this in my opinion. Comment from: Ana, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 30 I've had at least 11 pilonidal cysts since age 25. I haven't had one in the last 4 years. Cysts are always the same size and location. Top of the cleft on the right side, about the size of a 50 cent piece. There hasn't been hair in it, just pus. Some opened on their own, a few times I went to the doctor and had him open it. It was not painful when the doctor drained it (instant relief). Here are my tips. I use an antibacterial soap (Dial) to clean the cleft area. Use a hand shower and warm water to rinse area well. Stay away from oily or creamy soaps. If you get one and can't get in to see a doctor, try to rinse it with hand shower and warm water 3 or 4 times a day. It seems to help bring it to a head and drain. Sounds weird, but if it's draining, buy Poise overnight bladder pads. Ultimate absorbency. Remove the strip that covers the adhesive, stick pad in back of underwear, so it covers draining cyst. Pull on underwear. Works like a charm as a bandage. Comment from: Don E, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 27 I had a pilonidal cyst when I was in the Navy. As a reservist there was little interest in curing me. I did sitz baths for a few weeks, but that did not help. When I was discharged I had taken a packet of a sulfur drug used in battle field dressings. It was with a gas mask that was being eliminated. I rubbed the powder into the sore and in a week I had no more trouble for forty years. Yesterday I got it again. I am going to try some antibiotic cream. Comment from: sundance, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: June 02 In 1952 I was 15 years old. I had pilonidal cyst surgery. The incision would not close due to hair follicles so I received x-ray treatments on the area to kill the hair. Now, 63 years later I am having problems with draining wounds that will not heal. Comment from: zebby, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 04 My other half had a pilonidal cyst, I offered to clean round it and he told me it may be related to hair. I used boiled, cooled water, cotton wool, a torch and a pair of tweezers. I found hairs protruding from the break in the skin so carefully removed them and bathed the area each night. It healed up. Since then it has reoccurred maybe 2 or 3 times in 5 years, at the first sign, itching, I go through the same procedure and it has literally just been a case of pulling hairs out of the beginnings of a new break in the skin. It has always healed very quickly. Hope people can find someone to do this delicate but simple procedure to stop a full blown infection and cyst developing. Comment from: nutman111, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 01 I had my pilonidal cyst removed at age 19. It went well but came back at age 59. I am 67 now. It still flares up about every 2 to 3 months and will burst by itself. It did that last night. It is messy and usually gets blood on my bed. I have shown it to my doctor but I really don't get a straight answer. I started to have it removed again but the surgery was canceled due to high blood pressure at the time. I don't know what to do. Comment from: SarahhatinthisPC, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 16 I have a pilonidal cyst (PC) right now and it is the worst thing I've ever been through in my life. Yesterday I went to get it lanced and the doctor said the core of it was deep down. Numbing medicine didn't numb me so when he started cutting I could feel everything. I demanded him to stop midway, I just couldn't deal with the pain. Now I'm healing and taking antibiotics hoping the core will burst on its own; if not I am going to the emergency room to have it out, but with an IV so I can't feel anything. It is a very horrible and painful experience but I'm hoping that it will soon be over. SLIDESHOW Rosacea, Acne, Shingles: Common Adult Skin Diseases See Slideshow Comment from: Brittany Danielle, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 12 When I was 17 I took a hard fall on my back while Ice skating and thought I just bruised something, so I didn't think anything about the pain. I few days later it was still hurting and it looked black and blue on my lower back. I showed my mom and sister and they had me see my school's health center to check it out. They did tests and found out it was a pilonidal cyst. My mom found a surgeon who specializes with these kinds of cysts. The surgeon told us what she was going to do to remove it. She told us that she only was going to remove about the size of a golf ball around the cyst. After the surgery she showed my mother how to bandage it by wet to dry packing it. My mother burst into tears because she didn't realize it was so bad. I was so upset about everything that my parents went and picked up my best friend to stay the night. Well, that night I started losing a lot of blood due to hemorrhaging. If my friend wasn't over I would have bled to death because I could barely talk, so I wouldn't have been able to yell to my parents to call 911. They took me to a different hospital then, where I got the surgery done. I was in the hospital for about a week before a plastic surgeon could fix it. They had to tape this sponge vacuum to the spot to suck up the blood. I ended up with a staph infection, called MRSA. The surgeon who removed the cyst left a hole the size of a softball in my lower back and cut so far down into my back the plastic surgeon who was going to repair the gaping hole in my back, had said you could see a small part of my spine. It was stitched up and healed. Now, nearly 5 years later, I have this huge ugly scar on my lower back that makes me so self-conscious. I even still have a small hole the size of a nickel, where the cyst originally was and there is nothing there to fill it in. Just make sure you do your research on who you go to, to have it removed. Comment from: Kate, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 09 I had a pilonidal cyst when I was 17 years old. At first I had thought I had chipped my tailbone or something like that. I later had found out that it had become infected. It was so painful that I couldn't sit right and developed back problems. There were no exterior signs so when I discussed my pain in my tailbone and back, we decided to go to a chiropractor. It helped with the back pain but not my tailbone. After several months of pain and 3 chiropractor visits the cyst ruptured. There was some relief because the drainage caused the pressure to go away but the smell was horrible. After an emergency visit to my doctor he explained what it was and recommended I have it surgically removed. My scar was 4 inches long and almost 2 inches deep. The worst part besides the actual pain of the surgery was repacking the wound twice a day. I would remove the dressing, clean the wound, and then my mother would have to pack it with gauze. It was disgusting. So heads up if you are feeling slight pain in your tailbone. Don't wait too long to have it checked out. Comment from: firegurl24, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 25 I had my cyst drained in the ER and the doctor put gauze packing in it. We tried to remove it but it was too painful. I tried soaking it in hot water then removing the packing and it was still too painful. Finally I was in so much pain that I took my pain meds (Norco 10/325) 30 minutes before using a numbing cream on the site. I waited another 15 minutes for the cream to numb the area and we tried to pull the packing out. This time it was much better but I could only stand to get about 2 inches pulled out. I had my friend put a little more numbing cream on me and waited another 10 minutes before trying again. That time was a success in getting it out and I can sit down without pain and lay down. Now I just need to see the surgeon to have the issue permanently resolved. Comment from: Chris, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 06 I had my cyst drained and I felt relieved. Before, I got my cyst drained, I was on vacation and boy was it horribly sensitive and painful. Over these past few weeks, it has been really irritating and I can't sleep. It has been draining. I have an appointment with my doctor in the coming days. Comment from: Sara, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 04 I had a pilonidal cyst when I was in my early 20s. I didn't know that it was there until after it burst. There was a lot of pressure on my behind and I found it more and more difficult to move as the days went on. On about the third day I went to my doctor and he said that I had probably broken my tailbone. I went to get X-rays but the pain was so bad that I pleaded them not to make me lie on my back. They told me I had to so when I did the infection that had been building up burst through my skin. The next day I went back to my doctor, and he sent me to the hospital for emergency care. After seven hours in the waiting room, a surgeon came in and told me that I would need a drain. He put the drain in me without any anesthetic. After the drain was removed I had the dressings in the open wound changed daily by homecare. It wasn't healing so the surgeon decided that I needed further surgery. This time I was given anesthetic but the huge gaping wound was so big that you could see my spine and there were lots of tracks that needed to be packed and repacked on a daily basis. It was extremely painful. They would still would not heal so I went to a special wound care clinic. I was given a further surgery and was put to sleep this time. After the surgery my wound still would not heal so I had a medical vacuum attached with a sponge in my wound which dried out the wound. I had to wear this machine all of the time and had to go to the hospital every day to get the sponge ripped out and changed. It was also incredibly painful. Eventually the wound healed after a few months with the vacuum. The whole ordeal was a year and a half and was so horrendous. I actually had another cyst that burst while I was healing from the previous one but since there was a track left, it luckily drained itself. I wanted to let everyone know that if you are in the same situation that I was in, the vacuum really can help you and was the only thing that would work for me. QUESTION Ringworm is caused by a fungus. See Answer Comment from: Jesse S, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: May 02 I started having pain at the age of 13. I had the doctor lance it in the office and I have had five surgeries, including the flap done. I am now 26 and it still hasn't healed. I have put sterile gauze on it twice a day for half my life and am getting real tired of it. Comment from: HD ANG, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 29 Yes, indeed definitely painful, not only before surgery due to the swelling of pus but the procedure was not a joy ride however the second worst part was having to have the wound repacked every single day until the wound healed up completely and taking the dressing out of the wound was awfully painful as well. Comment from: Saul, 13-18 Male (Patient) Published: June 17 I had a pilonidal cyst when I was 15, but I thought it wasn't a big deal. It was lanced and drained two years ago, but immediately the doctor said I need surgery, so I had an incision, but my cyst was beside there on my left cheek. The incision was about two inches long and I had stitches. I stayed in bed lying on stomach for a month and a half. The doctor didn't give me antibiotics so it got infected. I got antibiotics from another doctor and the infection went down. Comment from: Syona, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: June 09 I'm 18 & this is the first time I've ever heard about anything like this. After I was feeling some discomfort the pain got to the point of where I couldn't do anything without being in extreme pain. At first the ER doctors diagnosed me with a pilonidal abscess above my tailbone. They drained it and gave me pain medications and an antibiotic. A few days later the pain was worse than it originally was. We returned to the emergency room and they diagnosed me with a pilonidal cyst. They had to surgically remove it and I have to go back for unpacking. I hope to never have this happen again. Comment from: In pain, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 09 I got a pilonidal cyst a week after I had my baby. I had 29 stitches I was already in a lot of pain when my tailbone started hurting, especially when I'm sitting. I used some hot presses. The next morning, the area was in a lot of pain and was oozing pus. I went to the hospital where the doctor numbed the area and took out the pus. I had a home care come and pack it for two months. It was very painful during those first few weeks. Finally it almost closed, and I went back to the surgeon. He said I needed an operation cause it was still draining. So now it's been a week since the operation, and it's still very painful. Now, I'm getting the area packed every day. Comment from: tracker, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 31 I had a pilonidal cyst which required lancing and draining. A local anesthetic was administered prior to the procedure. There was no pain during the procedure and little pain afterwards. It was not as big a deal as some people have experienced. Comment from: B.J., 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 31 My pilonidal cyst burst on its own. I experienced chills and fever, sweating, headache and aching joints. I am currently taking an antibiotic named Clindamycin four times daily with food and water. The deep hole is closing after 6 days of medicine. I feel uncomfortable sitting, so I lie down when I can. Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 09 I got my first pilonidal cyst at age 40. I am now 51 and still, I can't get rid of it. After many surgeries, I still have a pin hole that drains yellow fluid ever so slowly. During one of my surgeries, the tip of my tailbone was removed because the cyst was wrapped too many times around it. Although I don't hurt anymore, I would like to get rid of this thing once and for all. Comment from: thechamp, Female Published: April 19 I am 26 and I just suffered from a pilonidal abscess. I have always had a little lump under my skin for about the past 3-4 years and it was tender. I remember at one point it hurt so bad that I could not get in and out of my car. I had to drive with my body stretched straight which was very uncomfortable. Then one day the pain went away and I felt normal. My doctor had said that many times these cysts will go away on their own. Now three years later this past week that same cyst started to grow. Within about 48 hours it went to being the size of a pea to the size of a golf ball. It was sore and I could not sit down. My doctor sent me to the ER where they lanced and drained it. The doctor shot multiple needles of numbing medicine around and in the infected area. It felt like she was shooting fire in my body. Bad enough I was lying on my stomach so the only thing I could do was try to crawl away off the table. It was more painful than natural childbirth! When the medicine kicked in she then cut open the area and drained it. A lot of pus, blood and nasty stuff came out, and I am glad that I couldn't watch. She packed it and I returned 2 days later and I just got my packing removed. I feel much better. The doctor said it almost always comes back in patients. Comment from: jackie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 18 I had a cyst when I was seventeen and in excruciating pain I had it lanced and drained only to have to do it all again 6months later as the surgeons couldn't get it all the first time. Now 16years later it is back and I am on my third round of antibiotics to try to get rid of it without lancing it again. Comment from: Sharon, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 24 From the age of 15 to 19, the cyst would come back and I would have it lanced. Finally, at age 19 the doctor decided to do the surgery and I haven't had a problem since, but the area is very sensitive and I can't sit for very long. Comment from: flaelbib, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 16 I had surgery for a cyst when I was 15. I'm now 29 and have not had a recurrence, though the area is sensitive and uncomfortable when sitting for long periods. The first surgeon I went to wanted to make two diagonal incisions and basically sew it up in a way that would have flattened the cleft. It did not sound like a good idea so we got a second opinion. The surgery ended up being a vertical incision along the cleft and the area was drained and cleaned. It was packed with gauze to heal from the inside out. The healing process took several weeks and the wound was a pain to take care of, but I'm still convinced it was the right treatment. There was never much pain but the bleeding and constant draining in the first several days was pretty hard to deal with. Comment from: Ariel, 45-54 Female Published: March 07 I had a terrible time in my teens with a pilonidal cyst. Had it lanced and it kept coming back even bigger. I couldn't sit for even short periods of time. Some wise soul (it wasn't my doctor) told me to drink lots of pineapple (unsweetened) juice. I can recall buying a big can of it and would drink a large glass a day until it cleared. It did and I was never bothered again. I'm now 52 and it was that experience that got me interested in alternative health. Good Luck! Comment from: MackTruk, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 23 It has been 14 years since my cyst was lanced and drained. The original incision was about 3/4 of an inch and is now about 1/8 inch. There has been no pain or discomfort since the original incision and the drainage events are minimal, about 6 times per year. I have not been motivated to attempt to resolve the problem with surgery, which does not appear to be a sure thing, and the intermittent seepage is not a problem. Research indicates the wound may never heal and that would be fine with me if no other complications develop. Comment from: fisheswithspinners, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 22 I had pilonidal cysts three times during my young adulthood. Now many years later I still have pain and discomfort when sitting for too long. More recently I've started to have trouble with numbness in my legs and even my private parts. I believe something may have happened during surgery. Comment from: 35-44 Male Published: February 22 I got my first cyst when I was about 27yrs old. My doctor did an in office surgery in which he lanced it several times before he broke it. He only used a topical numbing spray. Then he drained it and packed it with gauge, I could fill my skin ripping as he did this. This by far was the worst pain I have ever been in and actually went into shock. Published: February 22 I had an infected pilonidal cyst several years ago. The pain was so intense that a general surgeon had to lance and drain it. This helped relieve the pain immediately. I was put on some antibiotics and pain medicine and instructed to clean the area and apply sterile dressings to the wound. I later had a surgery which removes the hair and skin debris (which forms almost a "spider web"). I am now 32 years old and I believe another cyst has formed because I am beginning to feel pressure and slight pain at the same site/area. These cysts will often return. Published: January 25 We just found out that my daughter who is 14 now has a pilonidal cyst. She did not have any pain and it is a hole, not the typical blemish. She may have had something there previously but had not mentioned anything because she may have thought it was not a big deal. I think back now and she may have had a fall on her tailbone several years ago. She is due to see the surgeon this week and we will see what her options are. She is on antibiotics now and has not had to deal with infection yet. Comment from: Deedre, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: January 25 At first, I thought it was my tailbone. I was in so much pain that I ended going to the hospital. I find out it was a pilonidal cyst from an ingrown hair. I had surgery, which took about seven minutes. This was all so painful. I could not walk, sit or lie down. I had to lie on my stomach to feel at ease. The worst thing was when they had to clean it and then pack with some type of thin gauze (anywhere from 18" then decreased to about 6"in length). I felt I was going to die. With this infection, it caused me to have a high heart rate, high fevers, a lot of swelling of my feet and hands. Since I could not urinate nor have any bowel movement. I was told by the surgeon that maybe in the long run the pilonidal cysts would return about 3 more times throughout life. Comment from: 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 11 I had the cyst 40 years ago. My primary doctor lanced and drained the cyst. He said it may come back. I am now 73 and since then, the cyst filled up three times and drained by itself. Comment from: Erin, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 06 I was down in Mexico and one morning I woke up and could hardly walk or sit. All around my tailbone was obviously swollen, hot to the touch and red. It felt like I had bruised my tailbone. I went to a huesero, which is like a bone therapist, or a physical therapist. He said he couldn't help me because all the water my coccyx was inflamed with was infected. I went home and the owner of the house I was renting gave me a marijuana tincture to warm and place on my back with a cloth. After five minutes mostly what looked like blood leaked out, but I guess it was pus. After it drained I just kept the area clean and I haven't had a problem with it since, but it's only been a week or so with this pilonidal cyst. Comment from: tray Kemp, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: April 14 I had my cyst cut and squeezed by a Doctor. I am in the process now of just letting it drain. It was at the point where the pain was unbearable the first doctor I went to gave me some 800mg Motrin for a week. I almost took them all in 4 days. But after I got cut I could walk and sit properly almost within hours. (And I had to get cut without anything to kill the pain). Comment from: Unbroken21, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: April 08 It felt like I had fell really hard because my tailbone was sore. Each day that passed the pain got worse and worse until I couldn't sit, lay down, turn over or barely walk. I had a raised bruise on the inside of my butt cheeks and after going to the ER the P.A. diagnosed it as a pilonidal cyst. They had to drain the pus out and pack it with gauze and bandaging. I think the sooner you notice the symptoms the better you can handle the problem quicker. Published: March 29 My first cyst surfaced when I was 15; my discomfort was misdiagnosed and went untreated. The cyst burst during my sleep. Several months later I had the first to two surgical procedures to relieve the pain and inflammation. I have experienced several flair ups that resolved themselves. Today, 33 years later, I am experiencing pain and swelling. It appears that I'm headed for the third in-patient procedure to relieve the pain. Comment from: jivinjojo, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 14 I had my cyst lanced once and it was excruciatingly painful! The cyst came back within a month. Then I had surgery to remove it and never had another issue. It's been over 20 years now. Comment from: Kiwigirl, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 07 I suffered from a recurring pilonodal sinus infection when I was 17, over 20 years ago. After having the initial infection drained, and going through several rounds of antibiotics, I had surgery on the area. This created an open wound which took about 4 months to heal as it was packed with gauze and healed from the inside out. The infection has not recurred since, but my tailbone area is sensitive, and becomes uncomfortable if I sit for a long time.