Skip to Content

Pilonidal Cyst


What is a pilonidal cyst?

A pilonidal cyst is a small sac under the skin that looks like a small hole or dimple. It usually grows in the skin on your lower back, near the bottom of the spine.

What causes a pilonidal cyst?

Pilonidal cysts are usually caused by ingrown hair. Hair may become ingrown because of rubbing or irritation near the bottom of the spine. The friction causes hair to dig into the skin and get trapped there.

What are the signs and symptoms of a pilonidal cyst?

You may have no signs or symptoms. You may have the following:

  • A small hole or dimple in the skin on your lower back
  • Hairs in the dimple

How is a pilonidal cyst treated?

Most of the time, treatment is not needed because a pilonidal cyst will go away on its own. Rarely, it may need to be drained or surgically removed if it becomes infected.

What are the risks of a pilonidal cyst?

Pilonidal cysts may become infected and cause an abscess. This is a collection of pus in the cyst.

When should I contact my caregiver?

Contact your caregiver if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your cyst is red and swollen.
  • Your cyst has white or yellow fluid coming out of it.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.