Pilonidal Cyst – Home Treatment, Causes, Symptoms, Prevention

Pilonidal cyst, also known as a pilonidal abscess, is a cyst or abscess located close to the tailbone (coccyx) at the top of the buttocks crease.

These cysts commonly contain skin and hair debris. The cysts can range in size from small to a large mass.

A painful abscess can form if the overlying skin and the cyst become infected. When this happens, this condition is referred to as a pilonidal abscess. The medical term ”pilonidal” is derived from the Latin words “pilus” and “nidus” and was first used in 1880 by R.M. Hodge.

It is more frequent in men than in women and it is found more frequently in younger people than in older people. Also, individuals who sit a lot, like – truck drivers or working in front of the PC, have a higher chance of getting one.


The signs and symptoms of this condition may include the following:

  • foul smell from draining pus;
  • tenderness to the touch;
  • fever;
  • drainage of blood or pus due to an opening in the skin;
  • reddening and swelling of the skin;
  • pain – the pain may be so severe that the patient may experience difficulty sitting and walking.


Specialists do not 100 percent agree on what are the causes of this condition, however, it seems to be a direct result of loose hair penetrating the skin. That is because it can occur when hair penetrates the skin, becoming embedded and occasionally infected. Once the hair has entered beneath the surface of the skin, the human body acts as if it has been invaded by a foreign object, producing a cyst, or abscess, around the hair.

Moreover, added friction or pressure when the skin gets rubbed, cycling, wearing tight clothes, and sitting for long periods of time may also lead to this problem.

Also, during WW II many soldiers had this condition. Doctors blamed it on the chronic irritation which occurred when the soldiers rode in Jeeps over bumpy terrain.

According to a study done at the Maimonides Medical Center study, this condition can develop as an occupational marker on the hands. This frequently occurs in individuals who work with scissors, such as – dog groomers and barbers.


It can be diagnosed by its location and by how it looks. Your specialist will examine the cyst to confirm a diagnosis. There are no diagnostic tests needed. If diagnosed early, your doctor may be able to help you prevent further infection and the inflamed cyst will clear on its own.


  • clean the cyst area with a soap and rinse to remove any soap residue;
  • keep hair out of the area by using a hair removal cream or shaving;
  • weight loss in obese or overweight people may help reduce the recurrence and development of this condition;
  • don’t sit in one position for a prolonged duration of time. This helps to lower pressure and weight on your tailbone area.

Home Treatment For Pilonidal Cyst

#1 Tea Tree Oil

This essential oil comes from the Melaleuca tree. It contains anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties that are effective for treating cysts.

Note – topical applications of essential tea tree oil are safe for most individuals, nevertheless, ingesting this oil may be unsafe.

#2 Soaking In Hot Water

This helps to draw out the infection and ease itching and pain, without irritating or puncturing the cyst.

This home remedy is often recommended by doctors. You may use a towel that is warmed to 100-105°F (37-40 °C) and apply three times per day for no more than half an hour until the cyst dries up.

#3 Garlic

It has potent antifungal and antibiotic properties. When consumed internally, this vegetable is a strong immunity booster, encouraging the healing process as well as helping the human body in fighting infection.

#4 Turmeric

Turmeric is well known as a multi-purpose natural remedy. It is so useful that it is said to be as potent as hydrocortisone, phenylbutazone, and other OTC medications for inflammation. Also, its anti-inflammatory properties assist in preventing and healing the development of this condition.

#5 Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV has been used as a medicinal remedy for many centuries. For instance, it helps to balance out the body’s acid/alkaline base and enhance our immune and digestive system.

Its effectiveness is due to its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and antiseptic properties. For these problems, you just need to soak a cotton ball in ACV and use it on your cyst. You can keep the cotton ball still with a band-aid and let it for 30m, three times per day.

#6 Alor Vera

It is a popular natural remedy because of its capacity to speed up the healing process. You can apply a gel with aloe vera on the cyst, several times a day.

#7 Epsom Salt

The strong anti-inflammatory characteristics of Epsom salt helps in draining out the pus accumulated in the cyst. Furthermore, Epsom salt eases the pain caused by the cysts.


A complete cure is possible, however, it may recur even if you had one surgically removed.

Image credit – Shutterstock

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