A Straight-Forward Guide to Pilonidal Cyst Prevention

A Straight-Forward Guide to Pilonidal Cyst Prevention

Pilonidal Cyst Prevention

You may have first learned about pilonidal cysts from a friend who had one, or you may have suffered from this disease yourself. Perhaps you stumbled across an online video that that regaled you with the horrors of an infected sinus.

Whatever the case may be, keeping this disease from affecting you has probably been a priority ever since. Keep your backside healthy with the following tips for pilonidal cyst prevention.

Preventing Formation

You can't necessarily stop the depression or tunnel associated with pilonidal disease from forming. There are some risk factors for this disease over which you have no control.

  • Gender: Men are more likely than women to get a pilonidal cyst.
  • Age: Pilonidal disease occurs most frequently in young adults, particularly those in their upper teens and early 20s.

Having thick, coarse body hair is one risk factor that you can control. A prevailing theory for pilonidal disease is that a loose hair works its way under your skin. Tissue forms around it, and this creates the sinus tract. In an attempt to prevent pilonidal cysts, you can remove or thin your hair.

It can be a good idea to regularly check yourself for a pilonidal sinus. You can run your hand over your upper buttocks area to feel for a small bump. You can also ask a friend or family member to examine the area for you.

Preventing Infection

If you discover that you do have a pilonidal sinus, you should ask your doctor to do regular checks of the area to keep an eye on its status. Your physician may also recommend steps that you can take to help prevent infection.

Remove Hair

Just like body hair can cause a sinus to form, it can also factor into the start of an infection. If your backside is hairy, there's an increased chance that loose hairs will get trapped in the pilonidal cyst. Removing excess hair can reduce that likelihood. Your doctor may recommend a specific method of hair removal, but shaving or using depilatory creams are two of the most common methods.

Clean Thoroughly

Good hygiene can help keep an infection from settling in. You should wash daily with soap and water. Your doctor may recommend exfoliating the skin while you are in the shower. In addition, you must dry your body thoroughly after washing.

Reduce Pressure

If this part of your body is often pressed on, rubbed or irritated, infection-causing debris may be more likely to work its way into your pilonidal sinus. One thing that you can do to help is to be more active. Even if you have a sedentary job, try to work frequent walking or stretching breaks into your schedule.

Losing weight can also help reduce the pressure that's placed on this area of your body.

Finally, it is a good idea to wear loose-fitting clothes rather than ones that will constrict your body or rub against your skin.

Preventing Recurrence

If you've experienced an infected pilonidal sinus before, you are probably anxious not to repeat the experience. Unfortunately, recurrences are common. With some treatment methods, the recurrence rate can be as high as 50 percent.

Many of the recommendations for preventing an infection in the first place can also help you avoid a repeat infection:

  • Remove hair in the area
  • Keep this part of your body clean and dry
  • Be active
  • Lose weight
  • Wear clothing that doesn't constrict

However, the best approach for long-term pilonidal sinus prevention is surgery. Antibiotics can do only so much to take care of an infected pilonidal sinus, and they can't remove the tunnel or cavity.

Therefore, if you have had multiple infections, your doctor will probably recommend addressing the problem surgically. The medical team might excise the affected tissue or seal the tract shut.

Even after surgery, pilonidal disease can recur, so it's still a good idea to maintain good habits. However, to increase your chances of keeping infection away, talk to your doctor about the surgical treatments with the lowest recurrence rates, such as laser coagulation. See this procedure in the video below:

There's no surefire method for pilonidal cyst prevention, but making some lifestyle changes can reduce your likelihood of developing an infection. It can help to maintain a clear, hair-free lower body. You can also try losing weight, staying active and wearing non-restrictive clothing. Your backside will thank you for the effort.

As with all medical issues, your physician is the ultimate source as to what procedure best fits your needs. Discuss all options and get a second opinion if you have any doubts. These articles are intended to be a source of general information only.

Brian Chandler

Brian Chandler