Main Article on Pilonidal Cyst Question: What symptoms did you experience with your pilonidal cyst? Submit Your Comment Comment from: Iain, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: November 03 My pilonidal cyst started to swell about 5 days ago (Monday). It grew over the next couple of days to about the size of half a golf ball. I couldn’t sleep and it wasn’t reducing. I went to an Urgent Care center on the Wednesday. The doctor called the surgeon due to the size and they requested to see me straight away. The surgeon asked me to come in first thing the next morning. I had surgery under general anesthesia and no pain when I came round. I read a lot horror stories but had the wound repacked today for first time. I took a couple of codeine before and it was pain free. Comment from: DFL, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 26 Don’t be scared of the surgery for pilonidal cyst! It is not painful at all. I had two surgeries. My job requires prolonged sitting and my cyst keeps coming back. I had my 2nd surgery in July and it healed after a month and a half, but got infected and now I am dealing with pus coming out. I will probably have to go and open the pus pocket to clean it again. Comparing to this, believe me, surgery is nothing but the relief. No pain at all. I haven’t even used pain medications... very easy and painless. Comment from: KL808, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 19 I had a pilonidal cyst too, I got it last year for the first time. I went to the emergency room and the doctors drained it, it was so sore, I cried. Now it is back and it’s even more sore than I remember. I’m just really scared because I don’t want to get it drained again, I’d rather be under anesthesia and just get it removed. Although, there is a small chance of it coming back again. Comment from: Isabellaaaa, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 01 Get the surgery for pilonidal cyst, demand it. I had the surgery the first time, and yesterday my scar abscessed and I had to get it lanced and drained. Literally the worst pain of my life. I was literally screaming for them to stop. When I had the surgery when I first had an issue, years back, I felt so much better and didn’t have to scream through the pain. Comment from: Peachy , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 27 The first two times I had a pilonidal cyst, it drained. It was the worst pain I’ve felt to this day. The packing and unpacking was excruciating. The third time I finally opted to have surgery. Recovery was just as awful. Packing and unpacking every day until my mom could just dry it with a Q-tip. My surgery was almost 2 years ago and the scar still pops open occasionally and I have to dab up the pus. This has happened at least 6 times since I have been fully healed. At least I had the best surgeon in the world. Comment from: sjd , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 17 I was 18 when I got my pilonidal cyst. I had what I thought was tailbone pain for 2 days so I went to Urgent Care and they found the cyst and sent me to the emergency room. The surgeon decided I just needed a drainage and it was the absolute worst pain I’ve ever experienced. I am currently on my 4th day of healing from it. They left the wound open and I must bathe and change my packing daily. Blood and pus continue to drain from it, but I’m hoping for no reoccurrence and for it to heal soon. Comment from: 3rdTimeIsTheCharm, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 29 I have had 4 total pilonidal cyst canals and two surgeries. I am preparing soon to have my 3rd surgery. The time between my first surgery and second one was almost 4 years. The time between my second surgery and the one I am about to have is 5 months. I always have drainage that’s blood and pus. I am hoping my cysts are running out of room to come back, since it seems they are traveling down my backside. Comment from: milaaXiez , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 28 This is honestly the worst pain in the world. I am 20 now and first experienced a pilonidal cyst at age 18 when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I had to get it drained because it got to the point where I could not walk. The 2nd one came back 2 weeks after my son was born. They drained it and sent me on my way. I just had my 3rd one drained this past Saturday and nothing came out so I'm in more pain after than I was with the actual cyst here. I'm always crying. Comment from: Barb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 07 I had a pilonidal cyst when I was 19 (42 years ago). The pain was horrible! It started after I fell on my buttock, then a bump and pain started to occur. I went to one surgeon who did an incision, packed it, and gave me pain pills. My mom continued to pack it and clean it for me, but it started to get infected again and again. Finally, I changed to another surgeon after months of this, and he performed a surgery to remove the cyst and stitched it close. I hate the scar, but I’ll live with it. QUESTION Ringworm is caused by a fungus. See Answer Comment from: Franklin F, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: June 12 I went to 3 hospitals to treat pilonidal sinus but all of them said it has reached a complex state. I am glad I can share this with you all. Truly it went in a complex state only because I left it thinking the pilonidal cyst will get alright on its own. I was in pain and it just kept getting worse. Pus discharge was scaring the life out of me. I was afraid and terrified. Somehow I managed to go to the hospital and get treated. Comment from: Person, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 26 I need to clarify that lancing and draining the pilonidal cyst is no casual thing; the worst pain of my life. I was literally screaming in pain all 3 times I had to have it done. Even the anesthesia injection is terrible. Have the surgery. The recovery from surgery is nothing compared to the temporary fix of a lance and drain. Chronic, untreated cysts are extremely dangerous and can lead to deadly complications. These cysts only get worse over time. Have the surgery. Comment from: Blueberry, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 26 The pain from the pilonidal cyst is terrible. Having it drained at Urgent Care was the worst experience of my life. I'm pretty sure everyone in the lobby thought I was being murdered. I opted for surgery because I will do everything in my power to never have to go through this again. The recovery was inconvenient but nowhere even close to the same kind of pain. Mine was pretty much right over the tailbone. The scar tissue hurts some if it's ever bumped, and I can't put pressure on it without some pain. Comment from: Sara, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 20 I first had pilonidal surgery when I was 12 - had the type of surgery where they closed the wound with huge stitches. Around age 14 I had to have it opened and drained, then silver-nitrate was applied to keep it open for weeks after. I am now 76 and over the years the area has gotten infected 3-4 times, and all the scar tissue gets very painful at times. Both my sisters had pilonidal cysts that were treated with leaving the wound open after surgery to heal from inside and they didn't have reoccurrences. Comment from: bella, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 04 I started getting pilonidal cysts after my son was born at 17. For years I would get them drained by the doctor and deal with the pain. Seventeen years later I went for my first surgery, which if the surgeon would have listened to me on the spot to operate, I wouldn't have had to get another surgery in a few weeks. Not only do I get cysts in my buttock now, I get them in my armpits and on my legs. I hope one day, these will stop recurring and I can live pain free. Comment from: Sufferer, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: April 21 I had a pilonidal cyst. Very painful; in short. I went to the doctors. They gave me a penicillin containing antibiotic. The next day it started leaking. And it was so painful I got someone to squeeze some pus out. It was very helpful, and I got better in 3 days. The pain did too. So guys, I know at the time it is excruciating. But go to the doctors. And do squeeze the pus out because that gets rid of the pain. Sorry to anyone who has to go through it. For me it started after doing weighted sit ups. Comment from: Cguzog, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 14 I developed a pilonidal cyst in 2001, 2002 and in 2003. There was no drainage or swelling but there was pain which went away on its own. In 2011 it came back with a vengeance. Didn’t know what it was but got so bad I went to Urgent Care. They said I had a boil but couldn’t lance it since there was no pus. They gave me antibiotics and 800 mg of pain killers. I had it lanced at the emergency room 2 days later. Since then it comes back every now and then but drains on its own. I will say, it seems the sinus gets less deep since the drainage is now less. Comment from: bananaboo15, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 14 I had 4 surgeries in 2017 for pilonidal cysts. My last surgery was the Z-plasty closure procedure. It was extremely painful, and I was in the hospital for 2 days, and on pain medication for months afterwards. It has now been 3 years, and I am still dealing with pain; mainly when sitting. The pain radiates up into my lower back. The last few days have been almost unbearable. I am wondering if this is normal/common. Wonder if anyone else has had this issue almost 3 years after surgery. Comment from: Marl CA, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 13 The pilonidal cyst was so painful and I finally had to get it looked at. After the surgery it was a little painful; more uncomfortable. But the real pain was gone. the 1st surgeon didn't get all of the problem out, so I had to have a 2nd surgeon fix the problem when I moved to another state. The 2nd was uncomfortable but fixed the problem. However, decades later I am now sitting way too much due to the virus and scar tissue is getting sore in its numbness. I have to go back to sitting on the side and switching often. SLIDESHOW Rosacea, Acne, Shingles, Covid-19 Rashes: Common Adult Skin Diseases See Slideshow Comment from: Grace123456, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 11 I have had a pilonidal cyst twice. The first time it was drained, then it came back about 2 months later. The second time I had surgery to remove it. Having a pilonidal cyst is the worst pain I've ever had. Hard to describe. When I had the surgery, it took 8 months to completely heal. Comment from: Fluffball, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 31 I had my first (and only) pilonidal cyst in college (2007). I had it lanced and “wicked” at the college clinic and by summer, my doctor said it would be best to remove the lymph node. What was supposed to be a quick procedure ended up lasting 4 hours due to the unexpected tumor removal under the cyst. The hole was so deep, you could easily insert your middle and forefinger into the wound for the first several weeks. It took 3 months to heal and it’s recently started itching like mad. Comment from: amanda_lynnn, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 23 I’m a 25 year old female. I first experienced the pilonidal cyst abscess at 19 and dealt with the pain, recurring drainage, etc., until 24. Recently I had the pilonidal cystectomy about 6 months ago. I’ve started feeling a hardened nodule that I think might be scar tissue but it’s started to get sore. It looks fine, no redness, irritation or inflammation. Wondering if anyone else has had the cystectomy and experienced this hardened nodule with some pain. Comment from: Jessdown , 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: March 06 I first started having complications with this pilonidal cyst at 17. Then 8 months later at age 18 it came back. Both times I had it lanced by Urgent Care. It’s been gone 2 years then decided to come back a week ago. I’m going to my primary care doctor today to get it lanced one more time. If this does not help I’ll get surgery, this pain is unbearable. Comment from: Liz, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 03 I’m a 24 year old female and 2 years ago I had pus leaking out (not a lot though) of a pilonidal cyst. I ended up taking antibiotics and seeing a specialist. He told me that I’d need the surgery to remove it, but since I was just about to start back up at school (lots of sitting) I could wait until it was a more convenient time. If I sat for too long in tight clothes it hurts and the cyst would get a bit larger but other than that it’s kind of been dormant. I sat a lot this week and now a bit of blood has been leaking. Comment from: Messed up crack, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: February 27 I have had my pilonidal cyst for about two years but today is the worst day. I can feel my skin ripping, it hurts to have a bowel movement and it hurts to walk. It honestly hurts so much I don’t want to eat and it doesn’t make me feel better when my wife thinks I’m overexaggerating about this pain. If only she knew I just want to cry and sleep all day and I don’t usually cry. Comment from: CE, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: February 26 I have been dealing with a pilonidal cyst for so long that it is basically normal to me now. It started when I was 16 and I'm 23 now, so it has had time to progress in size and condition. I have multiple sinuses with drainage and occasional flare ups. It's to the point where it only occasionally causes me pain, so getting surgery to get all the tissue removed would put me in a lot more pain than I'm in with it as it is. When it started it was almost unbearable pain-wise but nowadays it is virtually painless. Comment from: Stace, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 18 I have had my pilonidal cyst since 2016 and I have lost count on how many operations I have had to drain it, maybe around 9 or something. I had a seton put in on 4th of December and it’s so painful, constantly leaking and bleeding and swelling so bad! I get it at least twice a year and the surgeon said he’s never seen somebody have it as bad as me. I don’t feel like I get a break and I feel so alone and dirty. It’s affected my life badly! I have lost so many jobs due to having to have long periods of time off work. Comment from: Painintheass, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 11 I’m a 29 year old female and I’ve had reoccurring pilonidal cyst symptoms for the past 8 years, and 5 surgeries for it. I’m now 2 weeks post operation from a very intensive tissue removal. It is the worst one I have had so far, the pain and the amount of fluid leaking is horrendous. I originally had a primary closure however there was nowhere for the fluid to escape so had my stitches removed early. I’m looking at 6 to 12 months healing time now. I never realized how insanely common this is. Comment from: Ashley , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 11 I have had pilonidal cyst flare ups for 13 years. I have chosen not to have the sinus surgery. I have had the cyst lanced several times. Lancing surgery and removing the node are different surgeries. One is temporary and the other is permanent. Doctors will not lance a cyst until it is a certain size; this is not ideal for anyone and extremely painful. I now simply apply pressure to it when I feel it itch/hurt. I do this over the course of a few days and fluid drains. Has to be early stage. Comment from: Grace1208, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 05 I had two pilonidal cysts back to back. When I first had the cyst, it was horrendous pain. The pain started small and just continued to get worse until it was unbearable. I went to the closest emergency room and they gave me a bunch of antibiotics to try to get it to go away, but it didn’t work. They drained the cyst. The process of draining it was the worst pain I ever experienced. Once this one healed, the cyst came back two months later and I had to have surgery to remove it. Comment from: aarrssneeb, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 04 It has been two weeks since I was in the emergency room to have my pilonidal cyst drained and I have been going back to the doctor every other day to have my wound repacked while taking antibiotics. The actual draining of the cyst was the worst pain I have ever been in but since the draining the pain has subsided. I am still waiting for it to fully heal to the point where I don’t need to keep getting it repacked. I see a surgeon in two weeks and am nervous for a future surgery after reading peoples experiences. Comment from: Lori, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 04 Three members of my family have had this pilonidal cyst removed, including myself. I had mine removed 40 years ago, the cyst was quite painful, but once removed it was instant relief. Back then they would complete surgery, pack area and change packing daily for three months so that it could heal from inside out. None of us ever got it again or had any sensation later. I understand they stitch it closed nowadays, maybe this is the problem. Comment from: Mgood001, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 31 I am a 21 year old female. My first pilonidal cyst formed when I was 16. I went to the emergency room (ER), had it drained, and packed with gauze. It healed within a week and I felt back to normal. Fast forward 5 years later and I have another one. The pain this time was excruciating. I went to a general surgeon after being cut open in the ER but nothing drained. The general surgeon drained it and is suggesting surgery as the only permanent solution. I am so nervous of the recovery time because I am in nursing school. Comment from: Lailak, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 29 I was getting a bad pain in my tailbone, got so bad over a few days that I went to the doctor. She diagnosed it (there was just a red patch) as pilonidal cyst. Two days later I went back in severely more pain and really ill because it had got infected and there was a massive lump. So I had to have emergency surgery as it almost caused sepsis. After all that it was the daily wound packing that was the worst pain I’d ever felt (wound was about an inch deep and cross shaped), and I still get pain there occasionally. Comment from: Marty, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 29 My initial encounter with my pilonidal cyst was at 15 years old. It got infected and my mom drained it at home. Fast forward to 30 years old it got infected and I had to have it drained in the emergency room (ER); awful pain. Just 3 weeks later I had re-infection and made another trip to the ER. Surgery was scheduled in December 2019. I am now on my 7th week in recovery post operation for open pilonidal cystectomy surgery. Since my wound is left open it's quite more annoying. It has to be cleaned and packed daily. Comment from: MirandaVictoria, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 22 I’m a 21 year old female and the first time I got a pilonidal cyst was less than 8 months ago. A few months later the cyst started to get infected and I was in excruciating pain, so I went to the emergency room (ER) and had it lanced and drained. Now here we are again 8 months later and I’ve developed another infected cyst from prolonged sitting and am going to the ER this week. I’m very annoyed and fed up with this and I really want the bigger surgery so this never happens again but I’m so scared. Comment from: Candace, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 21 I was a junior in college the first time I noticed my pilonidal cyst. I went to the doctor because I had no clue what was going on when it started draining. It was the most pain I have ever experienced and I missed about a week of school. This happened two more times, each time having to miss school and get it drained. I opted to have it removed after graduation in 2011. Last night the site started bleeding and it freaked me out. Comment from: Shleb, 19-24 (Patient) Published: January 16 When I first started noticing my pilonidal cyst (I was 17) it was just hard to sit down. It burst about 2 weeks later and I thought it was just a boil. About 7 months later it popped up again and I had to get it lanced and found out it was a cyst. My doctor attributed the way my tailbone and buttock cleft are formed as the reason I get it. I had the surgery done a few months later, it’s been 2 years, and the scar still gets sore from time to time. Comment from: J_Michael, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 15 I had a 6 lb. pilonidal cyst removed from my tailbone area. After the pain was extreme I went to the doctor and was immediately rushed into surgery. They cut a huge hole that took 4 ft. of dressing to pack for months. I have been in constant pain, sometimes agony for the last 4 years. Sometimes my right hip just gives out and increasing numbness in my left leg. Can't seem to get help. Comment from: tmperez , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 13 I had a pilonidal cyst for almost a year that was just a bump on my tailbone with no pain. Christmas '19 I couldn't walk so I went to the emergency room and it had abscessed with an infection. The incision and drainage surgery was the most painful! I see the surgeon in a couple weeks. So nervous because I can’t miss a lot of work and I know this was painful so I can’t imagine what recovery will be like after surgery! Comment from: The4X4Beast, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 08 My son had had a pilonidal cyst for over 3 years, and has had 4 surgeries on it! The 1st was from a regular surgeon, the next 3 were from a plastic surgeon. The same one! I guess he really trusts him. It is really getting old watching him suffer though! It drains every day, there's an odor and he is in pain. He has to go to school with 2 layers of padding on. Comment from: sshusty155, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 07 I’m a 19 year old female, and I developed my pilonidal cyst literally overnight. I took a fall at my job, had my chiropractor fix my tailbone and a few hours later, the cyst grew from the trauma. I have many medical issues but this is the most pain I’ve ever been in. I struggle to walk, sit, sleep and it’s hard to use the bathroom with it. I can’t get the cyst drained until my tailbone fracture heals. Comment from: Beki35, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 07 January 2020 now. I had localized swelling, extreme pain, heat, redness and malodorous drainage. At 17, had surgical incision and drainage of my pilonidal cyst. Six more surgeries later and at 30 years old, I had reconstructive surgery. The doctor told me if 1 tiny cell is left, it will slowly grow back. I have had 7 total surgeries, all painful. I am 66 now. No recurrence. This isn’t new to the medical field and you’re not alone! Comment from: cystssuck, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 31 I could not believe that something like this could happen to me - I was 7 months pregnant (2018) when my first pilonidal cyst occurred. They opted to just drain it due to my pregnancy and we hoped it would go away. A year later (2019) an overwhelming pain hit me and I knew exactly what it was. I opted for surgery this time and that was back in October. Things still haven't fully closed and it drains like crazy. I also sit for 10 hours a day but don't have much choice. Glad to know I'm not alone. Comment from: justcurious, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 20 I had my one and only pilonidal cyst when I was about 15 years old. I am now 20 and although it has never reoccurred, I still feel some kind of ghost pain from time to time that feels like it shoots into a nerve, especially when I am bent over doing something like making the bed, sweeping, etc. I'm not sure if this is normal or is a sign that it will come back. Wonder if anyone else has the same thing as me. Comment from: Paul , 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: December 10 Well, I first noticed a large bump on my tailbone back in August of 2018, and never thought much of it until one day I had a pool of blood on my underwear (quite disgusting). And then I did some research and realized this was a pilonidal cyst. It’s now December of 2019 and I wear a Band-Aid every day. I spray hydrogen peroxide on the wound and cover it every day because it drains and drains. My doctor highly suggests the surgery but I’ve seen so many negative reviews on the recovery process. I don’t know what to do. Comment from: Norwegian Farmer, 19-24 (Patient) Published: December 10 I am having my first pilonidal cyst after a long drive helping a friend move. It is one of the worst lingering pains I have ever felt, and I have broken ribs and collar bones before. I made the mistake of thinking it was just a zit at first, so I popped it, so now I have to deal with the wound itself being infected and pus spilling out. I try to drain some of it on my own, and it eases the pain a bit; and I use a honey salve and compress which helps. Luckily I'm going to the doctor this Wednesday. Comment from: Carrie, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 04 I’m 22 and just had surgery 3 weeks ago due to a recurrent pilonidal cyst. I have been given 4 weeks off sick. The pain went near enough that I could stand, after surgery, no problem other than having it repacked every day for 3 weeks. I just now got to the stage it only needs doing every other day but the pain has now started to come back. I would describe the pain worse than wisdom teeth. When it came back I was told by my doctor that if pain got worse to go straight to the hospital. Unfortunately it did, and I had to have it operated. Comment from: Mary, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 03 My pilonidal cyst first appeared at the age of 13 after a fall on my tailbone. I had it lanced and packed. It healed but came back a year later. So I had surgery to remove the core. It came back about 4 more times and I had it lanced and packed. I am now 46 and for the past 10 years it just constantly seeps. Every once in a while it hurts really bad but then it opens and seeps. In a way I'm glad it never fully closes because as you all know it's the worst pain ever. But it's gross and I hate it. Comment from: Jen, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 02 I had surgery 2 weeks ago to remove my pilonidal cyst and the sac. My surgeon fully closed my incision as at the time it was not infected. Last night some of my stitches popped and a part of the incision is starting to open. I went to the emergency room and the doctor said there was nothing he could do and said I had developed some yeast infection around the stitches. The area is still painful at times and sleeping is very uncomfortable. Wonder if anyone else has been through this. Comment from: HF, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 26 I have been getting pilonidal cysts since I was around 18 or 19, every month, but antibiotics would help it go down. It slowly faded into every other month, then every few months for recurrence. I lost some weight, and went about a year to a year and a half without it. But now, I've had it 3 times this year alone. I've gotten an incision and drainage twice this year, and once several years ago when the antibiotics stopped working. I have finally decided to get the cyst removal surgery because this is not sustainable. Comment from: Kimmie5254, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 26 I am a 40 year old female who has had reoccurring pilonidal cyst, very painful ones. I’ve had it drained four times, and I had the surgery on the 13th of this month. I am still in unbearable pain, draining lots of fluid, and it hurts to walk I did not have a drain put in or stitches, and I have a huge hole where the surgery site is. I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone. I still can’t sit on my buttock, I can’t drive, and I just lie on my side and stomach which is causing pain in my hips now. I don’t get any sleep. Comment from: Macy , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 26 I’m 24 years old and had my first pilonidal cyst at 16. It’s never caused me any major pain besides the occasional tenderness around my period until I got pregnant at 22. It got infected and then caused cellulitis in the surrounding skin. I took antibiotics and got it lanced twice during that time. Since then, I’ve found that castor oil either reverts the cyst or speeds up the healing process. Daily application has kept the cyst at bay. I don’t think I’ll get the surgery since it’s not 100 percent. Comment from: Amy P, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 22 I am a 43 year old female and first noticed the signature pus at age 11. I had surgery for my pilonidal cyst at age 14, 3 inches long, I don’t know how wide, with 6 bolts to hold it open so it could drain. It was the most excruciating pain I’ve ever experienced - 2 months! Before it was fully healed, a cyst re-formed and due to the post-surgical trauma, and I never went back to a doctor about it. Currently, I am sitting with a gauze pad tucked in there because it’s bleeding and painful. Hate this! Comment from: Ally, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 12 I had a pilonidal cyst in February 2019. I had pain so bad for a couple weeks I thought I had broken my tailbone. The pain eventually got so bad I woke up one morning and could barely walk so I went to the emergency room. They told me what it was and drained the cyst and scheduled a surgery. I had the surgery in March 2019. However, my wound opened after the surgery so we had to pack the wound for about 3 weeks until it closed. I still have pain and occasional bleeding 8 months after surgery. Comment from: Kaitie, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 05 I am a 20 year old female. Over a year ago in September I developed a hard, painful bump at the top of my buttock cleft. I had the pilonidal cyst drained at the college clinic by a nurse practitioner. Students, go to a hospital, not the clinic. It came back, tunneled, and grew multiple heads. I had it surgically removed (no stitches) 3.5 weeks ago. It was 5.2 cm. Recovery is painful and makes it difficult to keep up with classes but I would definitely say the pain gets better. Have hope and know you're not alone! Comment from: Lacey, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 31 I am one of the rare cases of women who get pilonidal cysts. It was so unexpected. Never had it before. I was 19 the first time. And it ended up draining on its own and then it came back 7 more times up until my last one 2 weeks ago. I got it surgically removed and the healing process is horrible. I can barely walk. My doctor is horrible. And it was left open so I’m not sure how long it will take to heal but this is the worst thing I have been through in my life. I don’t wish this on my worst enemy. Comment from: scaredmom, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 24 My heart goes out to everyone that has been through this process. My daughter was 17 when she got her first pilonidal cyst. It drained on its own and went away for exactly 1 year, when it returned this July. We went to the emergency room because she was in so much pain, and had it drained. They made a huge cut in it so it had to be packed. A few days later, her doctor sent us to the surgeon where we were told that she needed surgery. Two weeks later, she had surgery. Still recovering 2 months later with no pain. Comment from: Vanessa , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 21 I have had 3 drainages done due to the pilonidal cyst. The pain of this type of cyst is so bad that it gets to the point where you can’t drive, walk, stand, sit, etc. It is the worst feeling ever! And when you get general anesthesia for the drainage you still feel everything! I cried and screamed my lungs out like never before. The infection is so strong that the anesthesia doesn’t do anything, I felt them cut me open. I had the cyst surgically removed last week. Hope it never comes back! Comment from: Marisa, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 18 Since I was a child I can remember feeling a slight twinge if I sat down too hard. One day the slight twinge didn't go away. Since that initial pilonidal cyst infection, I have had approximately 35 to 40 separate infections over the past 15 years. Each time I have had the infection, it gets worse. I have a large buildup of scar tissue and it takes a long time for the infection to come to a head so it can be lanced. The pain is exceptional, but I have built up immunity to it (I feel). The doctor is always amazed. Comment from: Draxmill, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 18 I had my pilonidal cyst removed in 1991 and I have been left with a scar that ties my upper buttocks together. I have wide, white, hard scar tissue and a pit at the top of my buttocks that itches frequently. My surgery did not clear up my cyst fully but over the years, I was able to clear the remains. It hurts to sit, it hurts to walk, and it hurts to stand. I need to know what to do. Comment from: Chatte, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 17 These comments on pilonidal cyst are helping a lot. I'm a 27 year old female and I don’t sit for work at all, I'm constantly on my feet. I had my first cyst diagnosed in February of this year. I had another flair up last month and it was extremely painful. It burst on its own but unlike earlier this year, it hasn't stopped draining a clear plasma fluid. My first cyst stopped draining rather quickly. But this one won't, it's been over 4 weeks. Unfortunately my doctor just keeps blowing me off and gives no explanation. Comment from: Pinky J, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 15 It's 2019 now, and I've had 4 operations for the recurrence of a pilonidal cyst at the cleft/tailbone, since 2015 (yes, one per year). For this pilonidal access, however I've also been on antibiotics numerous times and my doctor allows me now to have an emergency pack if I go away, and it happens to come back. Now I know what sort of pain to look out for, I know instantly when it's back. However I've got really bad scar tissue that feels like a bruise or someone poking their fingers through. Comment from: Cysts_Yuck, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 14 I was 19 when I had an inflamed pilonidal cyst - very painful. My doctor drained it, gave me antibiotics and told my mother I might need surgery in the future if it returned. I am now 59. The cyst never returned, however, the area has minimal drainage all the time. Not nearly like what I read here, but it does drain a few drops a day (clear fluid and smells foul). About 10 years ago, I thought it was returning because the area was tender and sore, but it went away. I have never had to bandage it. Comment from: IamDeadpool, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 04 I just got surgery for my pilonidal cyst. It is one of the worst pains to ever experience. I had been dealing with it for about 5 years! My advice, get rid of the infection with antibiotics (clindamycin), and schedule for surgery as soon as possible. I've had an experience where the cyst erupted under my skin and got my bloodstream infected. So if you feel like you are getting one or have one, please get surgery. It is unbearably uncomfortable. Take it from someone with a near death experience and sleepless nights. Comment from: Abcdefghig, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 30 I am a 32-year-old female and had a cleft surgery in 2015. I had gone into sepsis because I went to a doctor who wouldn’t drain it or put me on antibiotics, nor give me pain medicines. The incision opened up and took almost a full year to heal. I have a lot of nerve pain and it becomes extremely inflamed and painful when I sit for long periods. I am allergic to NSAIDs and have a hard time managing my pain. Doctors will not prescribe narcotics. I feel helpless. I am currently in nursing school. Comment from: Bean, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 26 I learned I had a pilonidal cyst when I had some minor pain and inflammation in 2015. I have two tiny holes very close together. Nothing came of it until May 2019. I had so much pain and I was off work for two weeks. The doctor ended up draining it. It refilled slightly and then self-drained and healed up. This week I felt the inflammation and soreness again. I applied two different things - Manuka honey or castor oil and then a heating pad. Pain and inflammation gone within the day! Comment from: 123female, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 26 I’m 19, and I got a pilonidal cyst a few weeks ago. I had it removed in hospital, it was really painful before surgery and still is now. I take 3 different types of pain killers 4 times a day and have to go to the doctors daily to get a dressing change. The wound was 4 cm deep and 3 cm wide. It’s been just over two weeks and it’s now 2.5 and 1.5cm. I’ve had 3 weeks off work and just hope it heals soon so I can go back. I felt very isolated, but reading your comments helped. Comment from: JJC, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 25 I discovered my pilonidal cyst when I was about 14, having just landed on it quite hard at school. Mine was always present, a small hard bump on my tailbone that never drained, ever! It was always sensitive but not always painful, but it would flare up after sitting or exercising and become unbearably painful. This would last a few days to a week and then go down again. I've just had it removed at 24 without drainage, so I was surprised to read so many comments where others had leakage and drainage. Comment from: Cjpott, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 25 I apparently was born with my pilonidal cyst and may have had it flare up multiple times before actually having it drained in November of 2012. The entire situation was kind of scary, and I had a bad reaction to the vancomycin that I was given. It has never fully gone away, instead just below my scars I can basically drain it myself from a few pores that were enlarged because of the drain scars healing and stretching the surrounding skin. I don’t know if removal of the cyst is really an option. Comment from: Mommamac174, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 24 I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one with the pain and draining at the scar of the pilonidal cyst. I had them first show up at 19 and then the week after my 21st birthday I had the big surgery. I was told it was much worse than what they thought and they had to go deep. I was in extreme pain for 3 months and it didn't heal until 4 months later. Yay, for being one of the few females. Comment from: collegestudent123, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 24 I was 19 when I got my pilonidal cyst, 21 now. It felt like a bruise but a few days later, I noticed a big bump. I saw the doctor who referred me to a dermatologist. They drained it, and it got bigger within days, I could barely walk. I had surgery with a general surgeon 2 days later. Recovery time was 2 to 4 weeks, but my stitches opened. It took over 3 months to heal. It continued to hurt so I went to a colorectal doctor 1 year later. I had a sinus and chronic inflammation/infection under my scar, and I got an external surgery. It still hurts to sit for long periods. Comment from: Cole928, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 17 I had open wound surgery for my pilonidal cyst on 9/9. The day of the surgery and the day after, I experienced minimal discomfort (aside from when I used the restroom, I felt like my usual self). Now, I am in much more pain. I even took my pain medication yesterday because I could not handle the pain anymore. Yesterday, I also experienced nausea and chills. My nurse checked my wound this morning and says it looks better. So, I don’t understand why I’m in so much more pain, I thought I would feel better as time passed. Comment from: JJ, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: September 13 I am a 29-year-old male and I think I just got my first pilonidal cyst. At first, I thought I just tweaked my back and had tailbone pain. But one day after going to the bathroom, pus drained out about the size of a penny. I don’t think mine is visible from pictures I have taken, but I can feel it. Also, when I spread, it tends to bleed. I am not sure if this is all normal. Consequently, I just ordered about USD 1,000 worth of biking equipment to start exercising. Comment from: Andy, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: September 10 I am 33 and I've not had mine diagnosed yet, but I'm pretty sure I have had a pilonidal cyst for over 15 years. It is just a small lump at the top of the buttocks, and it's never really given me any problems, but in the last few days it has swollen to twice the size. I am pretty sure it has somehow got infected and turned into an abscess. I've yet to see my general physician because of work commitments but I just want to know what the options are as I go on holiday in 4 weeks and want to be able to go in the pool with my son. Comment from: Kortiz20, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: September 04 I’m currently soaking in an Epsom salt bath. I’ve had recurring pilonidal cysts since my senior year of high school about 5 years ago. Last September I had a full surgery for it to be lanced because it was so bad, they didn’t think local anesthetic would be enough for the pain. It never fully healed even though I did everything in my power to keep it from coming back. Recently I’ve had drainage daily so I’ve had to find pants and shorts that are darker so I don’t drain through. Comment from: 7yearswith, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: September 04 I have had this pilonidal cyst for 7 years, from 18 to 25 age. I had gone to the emergency room about 20 plus times to get it cut, opened, and drained, but I never went to schedule an appointment for surgery. Seven years I've had to deal with a bleeding beastly day and all the goo and nasty stuff. A week ago I finally had the surgery and I was in and out of the hospital the same day of the surgery. But they put a JP (Jackson-Pratt) drain on me as well and patched up my behind. I haven't showered or have changed the gauze; wondering if I should. Comment from: Vaw , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 04 I was not able to sit, lie down or stand up. The pilonidal cyst was progressive, I was fine in the beginning but hours later I was not able to take it any longer. It went from this itchy irritated feeling to suddenly this stabbing, burning, pulsing sensation. The worst pain in my life was not this nor the drainage, but having to go back and change the mesh. I had never screamed in a hospital room until the day that they changed my mesh the first time. I have a permanent small hole in my buttock cleft. Comment from: Nisha, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 03 My first pilonidal cyst was in the 9th grade and the pain was horrible. I remember waking up and feeling pain on my tailbone, I had no idea what it was. I was scared to go to the emergency room but I eventually went because after a while it was so hard to walk, so I went there. They drained it, I had appointments to make sure it was alright but another one appeared and they recommended me to a surgeon. I had 2 surgeries because it kept coming back and getting infected. I’m 19 now and I'm scared it’s back because I’m feeling the same pain. Comment from: elynn0731, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 27 I have a pilonidal cyst. I noticed I had it about a week ago and I went and got it cut open and drained, which was very painful. I went back for my checkup and the doctor said I have to go to a surgeon now because it is swelling back up. I’m really scared because I’ve never had a surgery before and I don’t know what to expect. I hope it will go easy and I will recover fine. Wonder if anybody else has had theirs surgically removed. Comment from: anaitlovesall, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 27 I had a pilonidal cyst when I was 21. I had felt some pain in the area but nothing too crazy. It burst and scared me, but I cleaned it up and ignored it for the next year, though there was some discharge. Finally I went to a doctor. I had 3 sinus tracks and a deep cyst, and they were lanced and packed for months. They came back a year later, but since I'm mostly asymptomatic we decided to leave it. I've had it for a few years now, it hurts sometimes and drains daily. Not bad enough for surgery though. I am female and 25 years old now. Comment from: Surbhi, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 26 Firstly I thought my pilonidal cyst (PC) was a boil. It was really so itchy and pus oozed out any time after a huge pain, which was every 15 days; especially in winters. Then I had a surgery without use of stiches. It was an open wound with dressing every 2 to 3 days. It was so painful. Now 6 months are completed, still my wound is not healed up completely. It started oozing out blood and serum last night with lot of pain. May people with PC recover soon. Comment from: Elise , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 21 I had my first pilonidal cyst at age 20 and then one at 22 (on holiday in Mauritius). The scar was painful and I still had sinus tracks which got worse throughout the years. I did my first operation in May 2019 to remove them and did my 6th operation yesterday as the wound is not healing as I keep on getting new sinus tracks in the wound. So for the past 15 months I have been living with an opened wound and the pain goes up and down and I have been on sick leave for about 6 months altogether as I cannot sit. Comment from: Britt, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 21 I'm a 28-year-old female. I got my pilonidal cyst when I was 19 or so. I was morbidly obese and extremely sedentary, almost impossibly so. I got my cyst, went to the doctor, she sent me to the emergency room and a surgeon met me there who drained it. I was scheduled not too long after for surgery for the actual removal of the hair follicle. I lost about 100 pounds in the next year or so, and have maintained a healthy body weight and am pretty active. I have never had an issue with it since, nor any related pain. Comment from: Bee, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 21 I am a woman with a pilonidal cyst. It first flared up when I was 16, and since then I have had 6 surgeries. I’ve traveled the world to get different techniques and have the best of the best to operate. I am now 20. I stumbled upon this page because I just had another surgery done and it brings me a little relief to know that I am not alone in this! Hope everyone gets better and they find a permanent solution. Comment from: Jess, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 21 I had my first episode with a pilonidal cyst in 8th grade. I went to urgent care and got it lanced. That was the worst pain I've ever felt. I got it for a second time I think when I was 20ish. Again so much pain I could barely walk. The third time I was 23 and saw the surgeon who I was referred to when my second one burst. He performed the skin flap surgery. I was back to normal within 2 weeks and it's been a year and half and I haven't had any hint of pain. Highly recommend looking into it. Comment from: Charlie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 21 I had surgery for my pilonidal cyst Monday 12/8/19. I was in so much pain the day after surgery, and a foul smell was coming from the wound when I went for dressing change that day. I was told the wound was infected. Three days on and 3 dressing changes, the pain is still excruciating. I’m told the wound is over 7 inches deep. My buttock cheeks feel extremely bruised. I’ve not been able to eat, no food since Sunday evening. I’ve had this surgery before and it was an instant relief from the pain I was in prior, but this time it is worse. Comment from: Danielle , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 21 I am 33 and had my pilonidal cyst removed 17 years ago and I have just been experiencing agony. I went to my general physician 3 weeks ago, who put me on antibiotics. No change after 2 weeks, so she sent me to emergency surgery and they said it had opened and I have 2 holes that will need stitching up or deeper surgery if there is a cyst still there. Anyway I went on another week of antibiotics (which caused thrush) and saw a registered practitioner on Thursday who used silver nitrate to kill off dead skin in the hope it would heal the wound but said surgery would put me back to square 1 minus 10! I am in agony I can’t sit or lie on it. Comment from: Hank, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: August 16 I am a 19 year old male, and I had my first (and I hope last) pilonidal cyst in July of 2019. It seemed to come up out of nowhere, as I started lying down in bed and felt discomfort. I felt a bump on my tailbone, and before I even went in, my doctor told me it was most likely a pilonidal cyst. I came in early enough and he prescribed me a week of antibiotics, and the pain went away after a few days. A few weeks later and some discomfort has come back, and it’s only if I sit wrong. Not sure if this is normal. Comment from: Alexa92 , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 07 I’m reading your comments and I’m confused that none of you have had the actual pilonidal sinus removed! I had 4 operations to drain the pilonidal cyst over 2 years. Then I saw a specialist who made a large hole and removed the sinus and I’ve never had a cyst since and that was 3 years ago. My only problem now is there is so much damaged scar tissue my wound occasionally opens up. I’ve having a skin graft in a few weeks to help with that. I’d look into asking for the sinus to be removed. Comment from: GG, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 31 I had to have 2 surgeries for my pilonidal cyst. The first surgery they left an open wound and packed it daily, and left it to heal closed. It didn't heal properly, so they did another surgery, and closed it with a flap. It has been 8 months since my first surgery. Wound is almost healed but the pain is extreme. I have permanent nerve damage, and I can't sit down. Comment from: OrlandoB, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 23 I was in extreme pain for numerous days, was sore walking/sitting down and even sleeping, until my pilonidal cyst eventually burst at the worst possible time; the smell was unbearable. It recurred a couple of months later, and by this time I had done a lot of research and started applying tea tree oil to the area as often as possible after it flared up. The tea tree oil killed the infection and it didn’t develop into pus. I don’t really stress about it anymore now as I apply the oil as soon as it flares up. Comment from: Carissa, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 23 I had my first pilonidal cyst drained when I was 21. But I noticed for several years before, that I’d have sporadic pain near my tailbone. I eventually noticed the pain was always around the time of my menstrual cycle. I never had any issues with it after it was drained, until recently. I’m 43 and had to stop taking birth control after a breast cancer diagnosis and it just recently started feeling achy again. I’m wondering if there’s any correlation with me being off birth control. Comment from: Darsi, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: July 23 I have been dealing with a pilonidal cyst since Tuesday. It progressively got worse to the point I could not sit at all. I had it lanced Saturday which relieved some pressure and pain, and the wound was left open to drain. At this point I can’t tell if pain is due to the cyst or open wound. I have been having chills and night sweats something terrible. Not sure if it’s related to this or not. I have got follow up on Wednesday and possibly have surgery. I am worried about surgery due to the recovery time. Comment from: Joe, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: July 22 I just want people to understand that there’s a difference between surgery and lancing. When you get it lanced they’re just draining the pus and trying to relieve pain. They’re also hoping that it doesn’t come back often or not at all which can happen in some cases. Surgery is when the cyst isn’t active and you are having all the pus, sac, and other stuff removed so that the cyst doesn’t come back, period. In my experience I have to constantly wear gauze because of the blood and clear pus draining. Comment from: PIA!!!, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 18 I had my first pilonidal cyst 25 years ago, had it removed, and no problems until 2 months ago, ugh! I lost 84 pounds, began going to gym 5 times a week and I guess the pressure from the machines and being skinny brought it back! I’m on medicines but not working so far! The pain is so bad it shoots up my back and down my legs, and makes me nauseous. No matter how I lie it hurts. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. How does everyone function! How do you continue doing any activity, even walking! Comment from: Master , 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: July 16 I acquired a cyst around a week ago, thought I just hurt it or wore wet clothes and caused irritation, with some research I found out it was a pilonidal cyst. After visiting the doctor, it wasn’t ready to be lanced yet so all I received was antibiotics. A couple days later, it hurt to walk, it was unbearable to sit, and it got so bad I would have to crawl around in the floor. I tried everything and the best solution for me was putting Prid directly on the cyst and a heating pad atop of that. Comment from: j patterson, 25-34 (Patient) Published: July 16 I had a pilonidal cyst after a bike crash, the worst pain I have ever experienced! I almost had my arm cut off and that was nowhere near the pain of the cyst. I got that one lanced and packed, it came back, and then went away! The first one was super low. About 10 years later I had another at the top of my buttock cleft, and there was that unbearable pain, and no falls, nothing out of the normal day life. After not being able to walk I got it lanced and packed, now it's bleeding a year later, but no pain, thank goodness! Tea tree oil will help you. Comment from: Sharon, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: July 16 My 15-year-old son has had a pilonidal cyst for about 2 years. When it flares up it is extremely painful. He has been on public wait list for surgery and due to have it removed in 3 days. It is not currently infected and am unsure if they will operate if it is not. I wonder if anyone has had surgery on a non-infected or inflamed cyst. I've been told it won't go away by itself. Comment from: Mary , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 11 I am 28 years old and female. I was diagnosed with pilonidal cyst by a general physician, and 3 days later I developed an abscess and had surgery to remove the infection by 5 cm. My cyst is still there. Wonder if it will cause future infections. Comment from: TLR, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 10 I've recently just recovered from having a pilonidal cyst. I've had this a number of times but it's always cleared up in the past and I never suffered badly with it until this year. I couldn't walk properly and I didn’t know what it was until it burst, and I ended up in the hospital to be told it was infected and I needed immediate surgery. Now a few weeks later all is good but I still have a 'ghost symptom' as you call it when I've been sitting down for short periods.