What Is a Pilonidal Cyst?
(Pronounce it: Pie-Low-Nye-Dal).
The short answer is that a Pilonidal is a nasty abscess in the midline of your bum created from an infected follicle.
During a severe infection the abscess can grow to golf-ball or larger size, causing excruciating pain over the tailbone. These abscesses can range from a barely noticeable annoyance to a constant source of misery and pain that wrecks your life. There may also be one or more Pilonidal Sinuses – tracts that connect the abscess to the outer skin. These sinuses can drain fluids that cause itching or foul smell.
If you are thinking “Wow, that does not sound like fun at all..” you are right!
Ever since this website first went online, the number one search term that brings people here is “tailbone pain”. There are other reasons why you might be experiencing tailbone pain, but the most likely reason is a Pilonidal abscess.
This section of our website is all about education and understanding what that pain over your tailbone is, why there is a hole along the midline of your buttock cleft, what is that drainage, how the cyst formed, and where to get a proper diagnosis.
How Pilonidals develop in the natal cleft, based on theories and research of Dr. John Bascom. What are the risk factors?
A quick reference in FAQ format on the Disease for those who just want some fast, basic information for research.
Pilonidal is hard on everybody but it can be really rough for females who read in many places that this is a “guy” thing.
Now that you know what a Pilonidal is, you’re probably wondering if that’s what is causing your tailbone pain. Start here, then see a doctor to be sure.
In Fact Sheet format, the questions most often asked on our forums about diagnosing Pilonidal Disease so you can skim quickly to what you need.
Our gallery of photos ranges from pictures of flare-ups to healed scars post surgery. **There are graphic surgical pictures.
Our collection of PDF articles on Pilonidal Disease, including almost all the published articles by Dr. John Bascom.
Resources for medical professionals, including tutorial videos of the Cleft Lift and Modified Karydakis surgeries.
A Pilonidal Dimple is not the same as Pilonidal Disease discussed on this website. Here is a quick overview for new parents of a baby with a Sacral Dimple.