Does everyone have a pilonidal sinus?

Have you ever heard the term ‘pilonidal sinus’? If not, don’t worry. It’s not something most people talk about at dinner parties or on first dates – unless you’re into that kind of thing.

But seriously, chances are you’re here because you’ve either been recently diagnosed with a pilonidal sinus or know someone who has. Maybe you just randomly stumbled upon this article while browsing the web late at night (guilty!). Either way, we’re going to delve into all things pilonidal and answer some common questions like: Does everyone have a pilonidal sinus? And if so, what does that mean for us as human beings?

What is a Pilonidal Sinus?

Let’s start simple. A pilonidal sinus is essentially an inflamed hair follicle located in the crease between your buttocks (a.k.a your butt crack). So yes, we’re talking about that area of your body. The word “pilonidal” comes from Latin and means “nest of hairs,” which might give you an idea of what’s going on down there.

These inflamed hair follicles can be painful and cause abscesses to form (yum). They typically develop near the top part of your bum but can also occur lower down towards your tailbone (coccyx) or even slightly off-center — like mine did!

Who Gets Them?

The short answer: Anyone with hair on their butt (which is pretty much everyone) can develop a pilonidal sinus. However, they are more common in men than women due to males typically having more body hair.

Onset usually occurs between adolescence and early adulthood – think ages 15-30ish – but it’s definitely possible for elderly folks to develop one too! In rare cases, babies may even be born with one.

How Do People Get Them?

The long answer: There isn’t one exact reason why someone may get a pilonidal sinus as various elements can contribute. It is believed that trauma, like sitting for extended periods or falling directly onto your tailbone/ buttocks, along with deep friction due to hair growth and tight clothing are contributing factors. Some theories also suggest previous infections or even family history could play a role.


If you have a pilonidal sinus (or suspect you might), here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • Swelling, redness, and tenderness in the butt crease area
  • Pain when sitting or standing
  • Discharge of pus from the affected area
  • Unpleasant odor emanating from the site

Please note: If you experience fever/chills or extreme pain spreading beyond just the affected skin patch – go see yo’ doctor ASAP!

Treatment Options

Treatment options depend on several things including severity of infection and how often they pop up but here’s what you can expect if you go down the medical intervention route:

  • Antibiotics prescribed by dermatologist — will most likely clear it all up within two weeks.
  • Incision and drainage procedure — cuts open abscess to release trapped fluid.
  • Pilonidal cystectomy — surgical removal of entire affected region which requires stitches; pro tip: schedule lots of time off work after this operation!

For those who prefer folk remedies homeopathic cures include regular hot baths/sitz baths coupled with antibiotics — be prepared though because healing takes much longer than treatment done at clinics.

In very rare cases where an individual has chronic recurrences surgery may be performed as a preventative measure.

This type carries risks like sensitivity loss so ensure to discuss details with physician carefully first.

While pilonidal sinuses tend to share similar symptoms (pain, redness, pus discharge) each case presents differently. Anything from where your sinus is located on the bum line to why/how it developed are factors that showcase variance in presentation.


Now, we know what some of you might be thinking: How do I prevent getting a pilonidal cyst/sinus?

Well first off— enjoy the weird and wacky ride that is human experience filled with all sorts of ailments! That said here’s 4 tips which can assist reducing risk:

  1. Keep clean- Your anus has bacteria naturally inhabiting it but minimizing accumulation could potentially reduce susceptibility.
  2. Be mindful of long sitting periods — change positions every hour or so.
  3. Avoid Tight Clothing – Try wearing loose clothing
  4. Hair Removal – If neither point 1 nor point 3 work for ya’, try hair removal as often tight cloth coupled with unruly body hair can become problematic

For those who have already underwent surgery/ medical treatments making certain tweaks like regularly using hot-water baths/sitz-baths could deter reoccurrences.

So there you have it – everything you need to know about pilonidal sinuses summarized into one article(and without triggering your gag reflex)! Many humans will find these hairs nests popping up somewhere down our journey given location + predisposition factors–The key thing? Seek assistance if they develop due to potential hazardous outcomes!

Stay healthy out there ya’ll (and don’t forget….LOOSE PANTS).

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