Skin cysts

How to Prevent Pilonidal Cysts

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 25, 2017
How to Prevent Pilonidal Cysts

A pilonidal cyst, also known as pilonidal sinus, appears in the sacrococcygeal area, in the middle of back and very close to the inter-gluteal cleft. These cysts occur when a hair enters the subcutaneous tissue and a cyst is formed around the hair to isolate it. It tends to happen to people between 15 and 35 years of age, with a higher rate of incidence in men.

This can happen due to a sedentary lifestyle, excessive body hair or sweating, folliculitis or a family predisposition to the condition. There is a 7% possibility that a hair follicle grows inwards, resulting in an anal fistula. Here at OneHowTo we are going to talk about how to prevent pilonidal cysts.

You may also be interested in: How to remove or reduce a superficial cyst

Steps to follow:


These types of conditions are asymptomatic, and they often can only be noticed when they produce bumps with a small hole. However, in some cases pilonidal cysts can cause fevers, sore joints and muscles or general discomfort. These symptoms usually result from the area becoming infected with bacteria living on the skin surface.

This kind of infection can also cause an abscess which will lead to reddening of the skin and pain in the area. In some cases the abscess and its contents may drain by themselves without intervention.


It's always to be safe than sorry, and this applies to these cysts as well.

If you have already had a pilonidal cyst before, the best way to prevent its recurrence is keeping the area free of hair.Since it is body hair that triggers the cyst, if we avoid having hair in the area the chances of suffering from this again are lower.

The doctor who has treated you must also pay attention and ensure there are no ingrown hairs under the infected skin. Furthermore, the doctor should check that the seam of the wound does not have any openings.

How to Prevent Pilonidal Cysts - Step 2

A good preventive measure for pilonidal cysts is the use of antibacterial soaps or glycerin to clean the area. The soap must be mild and must not clog the pores.

Rub it gently over and around the infected area to get all the dirt out from the hair follicles and thus prevent reinfection. After washing, make sure that there is no trace of soap left and that the skin is dry.


You must avoid physical inactivity since long sitting periods will irritate the coccyx area, which can cause the hairs to grow inward. As we have stated above, an ingrown hair multiplies the chances of infection. It is also advisable to wear loose clothing.

How to Prevent Pilonidal Cysts - Step 4

This seems obvious, but it's still important to prevent pilonidal cysts. Overweight people tend to sweat more, which is another factor that increases the chances of such a cyst. Therefore, it's necessary to follow a balanced diet and, if necessary, start a weight loss plan.


As regards treatment, our first tip is simply to let the condition pass naturally if no infection has taken place. However, if an abscess has emerged and it does not drain by itself, a very small surgical operation will be needed to remove it and allow drainage. Don't worry, though; it's not a big intervention.

Of course, this process must be performed by a doctor and carried out under local anesthetic, with an antibiotic treatment and subsequent care for some days. If the cysts are chronic, it's best to have a full surgical procedure under anesthetic to remove the entire cyst in one go.

If knowing how to prevent pilonidal cysts is not enough, at OneHowTo we also explain how to treat a pilonidal cyst.

How to Prevent Pilonidal Cysts - Step 6

In the first days of a cyst emerging it is possible to cure it on your own with home remedies, as long as this is not already infected. One of the most widely used remedies is that of warm bath using Epsom salts. This bath will reduce swelling, pain and also help reduce the cyst.

Natural remedies also include turmeric, that thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce the infected area. Turmeric can be taken orally via capsules or by making a paste with turmeric and water and applying it over the area then covering it with a bandage.

Tea tree oils are very useful for skin thanks to their antiseptic properties and their application is very easy because you just have to apply a daily drop of this oil directly onto the cyst.

How to Prevent Pilonidal Cysts - Step 7

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Prevent Pilonidal Cysts, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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How to Prevent Pilonidal Cysts