Sebaceous Cyst/Pilonidal Cyst
What Is a Sebaceous Cyst?
A sebaceous cyst is an oil gland that has become blocked. Sometimes this blockage can lead to an abscess. An abscess is a trapped pocket of infection, most of the time with pus.
What Is a Pilonidal Cyst?
A pilonidal cyst most often occurs just above the tailbone or the buttocks. An ingrown hair may cause the cyst. The cyst can become infected and form an abscess.
How Is a Cyst Treated?
The treatment for an abscess is to puncture it to let the pus drain out. Sometimes, the wound will need daily dressing changes to help it heal. Sometimes, antibiotics are needed to help treat the infection. If you have been given antibiotics, keep taking them until they are all gone.
1. Your incision should heal in 1-2 weeks. If you need to do daily dressing changes it may take many weeks to months for the wound to close up and heal.
2. Do not put ointments, powders, or creams on the incision sites.
3. The day after surgery, you may remove the Band-Aids or dressings and shower. Wash the incisions with mild soap and water and pat dry. Do not soak in the bathtub, hot tub, go swimming, or scrub the incisions until they are all healed
4. Check daily for signs and symptoms of infection.
- Red and/or hot incision site.
- Pus-like drainage from incision
- Excess swelling or bleeding
- Fever above 100.4° F (by mouth) for 2 readings taken 4 hours apart.
Dressing Changes: If you need to pack your wound to promote healing your nurse will show you how to do it. Refer to Health Facts for You # 5187 Wet to Moist Dressing Change.
- Plan rest periods.
- Avoid doing things that call for a lot of standing or lifting (pilonidal cyst).
- Wear loose fitting clothes.
- Avoid strain to your incision.
- No strenuous activities until Okayed by your doctor.
- Avoid bending over (pilonidal cyst).
- Increase fluids and fiber in your diet to keep your stools soft (pilonidal cyst).
- Do not drive while taking narcotic pain pills.
When to Call the Doctor
- Temperature over 100.4° F by mouth for 2 readings taken 4 hours apart.
- Pain not controlled with pain medicine.
- Excess swelling or tenderness.
- Increased redness at the site or warm to touc.h
- Rapid or excess bruising or bleeding.
- Pus-like drainage from the incision.
Surgery Clinic: (608) 263-7502, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
After hours, holidays and weekends, this will give you the paging operator. Ask for the doctor on call for Dr. _____________. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
Toll Free: 1- 800-323-8942
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 02/26/2010
Copyright © 02/26/2010 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4480
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