Pilonidal Disease

Pilonidal disease is an infectious condition affecting the gluteal cleft, which is the area between the two buttocks.

It is caused by hair, which is embedded into the skin resulting in irritation and leading to an infection. It can present acutely as an abscess that is tender and red and either bursts or needs to be surgically drained.

Once the abscess has burst or has been drained, it leads to the formation of a chronically discharging sinus called a pilonidal sinus. At this stage surgery will be required. There are various surgical approaches, which have been described for the pilonidal disease ranging from unroofing the sinus cavity to flaps involving the buttock skin in order to help heal the pilonidal cavity. The area needs to be kept free of hair by regular shaving.

Read more about pilonidal disease at the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons website.