Hello! I was diagnosed with a pilonidal cyst 5+ years ago when I was in high school (I'm currently 22, male, in good shape, and in college in Rochester, NY). At that time, all I had was a small, non painful nodule. I was referred to a surgeon who recommended an open excision. However, my family and I decided to wait until a convenient time to do the surgery. Since the cyst wasn't causing me any problems, we kept on pushing surgery back. About a year and a half ago, my cyst got slightly swollen and tender. It ended up returning to its previous state on its own in short order. This past December, the cyst got swollen, and very painful to the point where it was difficult to sit. This lasted about two weeks. I ended up getting a coccyx cushion, taking tylenol for the pain and inflammation, and taking hot baths. The nurse practitioner I saw recommended getting antibiotics and perhaps lanced if it didn't improve (it improved shortly after I saw her). At this point I was experiencing mild drainage (I didn't know about it until the nurse told me about it). A few months ago, my lymph nodes in my groin swelled and were tender, which the nurse practitioner attributed to the cyst. They went down in short order. About a month ago, I started experiencing more drainage than usual from my cyst, in the form of crusty, dark matter with some blood in it. Sometimes it would just be clear fluid though. Hairs would come out with the drainage too sometimes. I saw the head of the colorectal surgery department for our University hospital about 2 weeks ago. He explained the history of the disease, clarified that while it was more prevalent in hairier individuals others could have it as well, and tended to be self-limiting in older people (mostly affected younger people). He said that the various surgeries had decent rates of recurrence (20 - 50%), so for the time being, he'd rather keep me out of the hospital/surgery, especially as I'd been living with it relatively problem free for so many years. He recommended something the army did during WWII, the Buddy Technique, where I, with the help of someone, keep the area free of hair (he recommended wax or nair but not shaving due to the risk of infection from nicks) and keep the area clean of any drainage. I naired the area, without too much problem, though the cyst bled through the drainage hole a bit for a few days after. If I nair again, I need to figure out how to keep it away from where the cyst drains. The bleeding stopped though. This was about a week and a half ago. However, a few days ago, I started getting increased discharge and more bleeding (not a large flow, but I've noticed a decent amount of staining on my undergarments, so I've started attaching liners there). Sometimes hair will come out as well. This has remained consistent these past few days, and it seems that most of the time the drainage site is damp with a mixture of clear fluid and some blood, though usually its not too much blood. I did see what looked like some pus last night (light brown and thickish) I'm thinking that if it doesn't clear up, I should speak to the surgeon again. Has anyone experienced drainage like this before? Right now, the site is raised and cratered like a volcano, The center is red and moist looking and about the size of O. Is this normal/heard of for pilonidal cysts? Also, if I continue nairing, what's the best way to avoid it from getting into the drainage area? It's somewhat difficult to see myself around there. I also welcome any other thoughts/comments/questions/suggestions I've been fine with having the cyst before, aside from the couple times it flared up and was painful, but I don't like the fact it's so visible due to all the draining and draining of blood right now. As a single gay man, I feel embarrassed about it and how to tell potential dates. Pics of the area with the drainage spot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/64536616@N08/5868272019/in/photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/64536616@N08/5868832060/in/photostream/ Thanks!