Pilonidal disease is a common problem of on infection in the skin between the buttocks. It is more common in men and typically occurs in the younger people. Patients may either present with an acutely painful abscess or a painful area that discharges blood and pus.
It is caused by repeated infections in the skin associated with the in growth of hairs in this area and is more common in dark-haired, hairy people. Sometimes people will get a single infection that may discharge and resolve without long-term problems. At other times, people will have either repeated infections or a non-resolving infection. For these patients, surgery may be the only option.
If a patient has an acute abscess, then often drainage of the abscess and leaving the wound open to heal “by secondary intention” or from the base upwards is the only option. If there is less active infection, then a different operation might be performed whereby the infected area is removed and the skin closed.