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Pilonidal Sinus - Symptoms You Must Not Ignore!

Written and reviewed by
M.S. (Ayurveda), Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Delhi  •  33 years experience
Pilonidal Sinus - Symptoms You Must Not Ignore!

Pilonidal Sinus is the small channel in the skin near the tailbone that may sometimes be filled with pus or fluid. This accumulated pus leads to the formation of abscess or cyst. Pilonidal cysts occur near the coccyx or tailbone, right at the top of the buttock crease.

Pilonidal sinus consists of dirt, hair and debris that penetrates your skin, becomes embedded and thereby causes infection. Once the cyst gets infected, you may see blood or pus oozing out of the channel, which causes severe pain. Pilonidal sinus usually affects men and young adults (after puberty). This type of skin disease is mostly observed in people who sit for prolonged period, such as desk-job workers, truck drivers etc. 

What are the causes and symptoms? 
Doctors suggest, pilonidal sinus or cysts is caused due to factors such as - hormonal changes during puberty, friction resulting from wearing tight clothes, prolonged sitting, hair growth etc. The hair growing in the region is forced to burrow back beneath your skin. In certain cases, the patient may develop multiple sinuses which connect under the skin. 

The signs and symptoms of pilonidal sinus include- 

  1. Pain when standing or sitting for long 
  2. Swelling of the cyst 
  3. Redness and soreness around the affected skin 
  4. Formation of multiple holes (sinus tracts) in the skin
  5. Foul odor 
  6. Blood or pus oozing out of the abscess 
  7. Hair sticking out of the lesion 

Pilonidal sinus can be embarrassing and painful, if left untreated for long. 

What is the treatment for this condition? 
Usually Surgery/ Z-Plasty is advised for Pilonidal sinus but it is not a right choice as after surgery incidence of recurrence are very high. This disease can be completely treated by highly specialized Ayurvedic Ksharsutra Treatment.

In this treatment Ksharsutra – a medicated thread is placed in sinus tract. Medicine released from the thread debrides the sinus tract and induces healing. This medicine remains active for 5 – 7 days so this thread needs to be changed with a new Ksharsutra at weekly interval. Healing rate of sinus is 0.5 to 1 cm per week and No. of weekly thread change (duration of treatment) will depend on length of Sinus tract. That is to say for complete healing of a 3 cm long sinus tract about 4-5 weekly Ksharsutra changes are necessary. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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