Pilonidal cyst – living and coping with one
Pilonidal cysts, for many people, are a nuisance which can persist for months on end, only for the pilonidal cyst to return again.
The question that often arises is, how do I deal with a pilonidal cyst?
The question is hard to answer, because it can cause many complications in normal daily life.
For example, having a pilonidal cyst can make it hard to walk about, sit down, even laying down to sleep is a huge challenge in itself when you have one.
Now, the aim of this article isn’t to go into detail about the causes, as there are resources both on this site and other which explain the causes and history of a pilonidal cyst.
Instead, the aim of this post is to provide sufferers with ways to carry on with normal life. Having suffered with one myself, I know that the pain can be sometimes unbearable, however the worst thing for me about having a pilonidal cyst is the sheer inconvenience - it’s almost impossible to do normal things. Playing football with one? No chance! How about weights, eating out at a restaurant – impossible. Even working (for example, I work at a desk at home) is incredibly hard with one – it just gets in the way. It’s always there – the pilonidal cyst serves as a constant reminder of your affliction.
Now, I just had to bear the pain. There was no way I was going to lay in bed until the doctors sorted out my pilonidal cyst – no way. So, I researched on how I could get rid of it quickly. And, guess what? There isn’t really much you can do! However, I did find a few things to ease the pain of your cyst until it either disappears or is surgically removed.
Firstly, is to buy a coccyx ring! This will help you to sit down with your pilonidal cyst, and they are only cheap, like little rubber rings to sit on. Instead of being in pain every time you sit down, just buy one of these, and your pilonidal cyst pain is relieved, if only for a short while.
Secondly, to help relieve your pilonidal cyst, is to apply some soothing lotion. However, be careful! Apply the lotion to your cyst very carefully – you don’t want to pop it. Also, check with your doctor before applying any lotions, just in case it makes it worse. However, when I applied lotion to mine, it provided some welcomed relief from the discomfort – if only for a short while.
Thirdly, and something which I do not recommend, is asking for some painkillers to help you cope with your pilonidal cyst. However, I do not advocate of drugs for anything, but sometimes the pain is so unbearable you have no choice. Again, consult your doctor and they will give you the best painkillers for helping. They will most likely be sympathetic too – these cysts are known to be painful.
Lastly, most importantly and most effectively, is remember to wear loose fitting clothes when you have a pilonidal cyst! You don’t want tight jeans or spandex on the cyst, causing agony and possibly causing it to pop! Look, when you have a pilonidal cyst, don’t worry about how you look when you dress – just make sure your cyst is as comfortable as it can be.
Apart from these four things, there is not much you can do to relieve it. However, I hope I’ve helped you out a bit with your pilonidal cyst, and I hope that you get rid of it soon!
Below is a list of methods and products that I would personally recommend to use in relieving the awkward pain of pilonidal cysts.
The best methods of pain relief for pilonidal cysts, is by far a hot bath in my personal opinion. It relieves the pain and pressure for a while whilst in the bath, and it makes it feel better enough to perhaps get some sleep. I have also heard that a good soak in Epsom bath salts work very well too. Use at least 2 cups of salt. Dead Sea Spa Bath Salts can remove toxins from the body, reduces swelling of the cyst, relieves pilonidal cyst pain, and relieves inflammation. My advice would be to take at least 1 bath a day, with the salts if possible, however either with or without works very well.
Otherwise, I was given strong painkillers by my doctor, which really did help, although I couldn’t do much because of a spaced out feeling, so always check with your doctor before taking anything.
What could happen if pilonidal cyst treatment fails?
Sometimes, treatment of a pilonidal cyst or a pilonidal sinus doesn’t go to plan. Now, don’t get scared; this happens incredibly rarely. However, I think it is always best to be prepared for the worst, as the famous quote goes: fail to prepare, then prepare to fail.
The first, and most common failure of treatment, is when the pilonidal cyst reoccurs. This is actually fairly common – even with dedicated cosmetic surgery on the pilonidal cyst, there is always a chance that it can come back within a matter of months, sometimes even weeks. Even when I was in hospital, I was advised that the chance of my pilonidal cyst coming back was substantial. The thing is that there’s nothing you can really do to stop this, except apply all of the pain relief methods you have learnt. Sometimes, life is truly unfair – but hey, there are a lot of people much worse off (although trust me, I know how much it hurts).
Secondly, and most worryingly, is the chance of an infection. When diagnosed with a pilonidal cyst, the one thing I was told was NOT TO POP IT MYSELF. The chance of getting an infection via the pus going into the bloodstream is incredibly high, and ridiculously dangerous. This was by far the most worrying thing for me – so do your best to resist your urges, and seek professional medical advice from your doctor. Trust me – an infection in your bloodstream could be potentially fatal!
And then there is the case of when your pilonidal cyst just doesn’t stop growing. They have been reported to grow to the size of tennis balls – if this has happened to you, then I truly send my sympathies, because mine, the size of a golf ball, hurt bad enough…
Now, these are all possibilities, but by being sure to take good care of yourself, learning everything you can about your pilonidal cyst, looking after it appropriately (take some sick leave from work to make sure!), and consulting your doctor/physician regularly will ensure that you minimise any risks.
Greg on March 15, 2020:
Im 65 years young, I had one removed at the age of 25, after2 to 3 hours of surgery, 40 plus stitches and a half dozen staples, 2 - 3 months of rehabilitation,,,,,, piece of cake. Never came back, no problems.
Misty on December 15, 2016:
I just had mine removed two days. I am trying to find information on a pilonidal cyst that has "roots", or as my doctor said "fingers". I have not yet been able to talk to him about it, but am concerned if that's a sign of it being malignant. Any information for me?
Karina on July 07, 2014:
I am experiencing having one right now and can't sleep! I can't believe how much these hurt!
DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on October 15, 2013:
The more I read about these, the more I am glad I have never had one but now at least I know how to help if I or someone else ever gets one. And it is useful to know how much these really hurt, so that one can be sympathetic to a sufferer.