A pilonidal cyst often develops just above the tailbone near the cleft of the buttocks. If the cyst becomes infected it can form an abscess with pain and inflammation.
The treatment for an abscess is to puncture it to let the pus drain out or it may need surgery. Some of these wounds can be deep and need daily dressing changes to heal. If antibiotics are part of your treatment, be sure to take them as directed.
- If you have an incision, expect it to heal in 1-2 weeks. Once you can remove the bandage, you may only tolerate water running over the area due to pain. When you have less pain, wash the area with mild soap and water. Rinse well and gently pat it dry with a clean towel. Do not use ointments, powders, or creams on the wound unless instructed to do so.
- With an open wound you may be seen in clinic to remove the bandage and packing. You may need daily dressing changes. It can take weeks to months for this area to heal. Arrange for someone to help you with wound care. If this is not possible, let us know. We can make plans to do the wound care in clinic. There may be a time when you are asked to scrub the area to “make it angry” to help it heal. Do not do this until we say it is okay.
- Check daily for signs and symptoms of infection.
- Increasing redness
- Pus-like drainage
- Increasing pain
- Excess swelling or bleeding
- Fever above 100.4° °F (by mouth) for 2 readings taken 4 hours apart.
- Once the wound is healed, you may need to use a cotton gauze/pad to wick sweat away from the area for 6 weeks. By then the scar will be stronger.
- Wear loose fitting clothes.
- No strenuous activity until okayed by your doctor.
- Increase fluids and fiber in your diet to keep your stools soft.
- 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 pills
- Excess swelling or tenderness
- Increased redness at the site or warm to touch
- Rapid or excess bruising or bleeding
- Pus-like drainage
- Any other symptoms that concern you
Digestive Health Center: (608) 890-5000
After hours, holidays and weekends ask for the doctor on call or for Dr. Harms, Dr. Heise, Dr. Foley, Dr. Kennedy.
Leave your name and phone number with the area code. We will call you back.
Toll Free: 1- 855-342-9900
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: 07/15/2013
Copyright © 07/15/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4480
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