small skin defects in the cleft between the buttocks that can become infected, often but not always in relation to ingrowth of hair.
mostly younger and middle – aged people, especially males.
- stopping smoking is strongly recommended
- weight reduction is sometimes advised
- antibiotics alone rarely cure the condition
- pilonidal abscess (‘collection of pus’) requires surgery (emergency drainage of the abscess, generally including removal of the tiny skin defects too). This is typically performed as a day-case procedure.
- pilonidal sinus: this condition often requires planned removal of the affected skin in the cleft between the buttocks. Generally a ‘cleft lift procedure’ is the standard operation (success rate ~80-85%). Alternative or secondary operations may include procedures such as the Limberg flap or a Z plasty ie small ‘plastic surgery’ operations. Surgery is typically performed as a day-case.