A pilonidal sinus (PNS) is a small cyst or abscess that occurs in the cleft at the top of the buttocks. It can cause severe pain and often becomes infected. If it becomes infected, it may exude pus and blood and emit a foul smell.
You may not have any noticeable symptoms at first other than a small, dimple-like depression on the surface of your skin. However, once the depression becomes infected, it will quickly develop into a cyst (closed sac filled with fluid) or an abscess (swollen and inflamed tissue where pus collects).
Symptoms of infection include:
pain when sitting or standing
swelling of the cyst
reddened, sore skin around the area
pus or blood draining from the abscess, causing a foul smell
hair protruding from the lesion
formation of more than one sinus tract
Antibiotics alone do not heal a pilonidal sinus. Doctors have a number of procedures available, including the following treatments:
The preferred technique for a first pilonidal sinus is incision and drainage of the sinus, removing the hair follicles, and packing the cavity with gauze.
Advantage - This is a simple procedure done under local anaesthesia
Disadvantage - This requires frequent changing of the gauze packing until the sinus heals, which sometimes takes up to three weeks.