There are not a lot of people in the world who know what pilonidal sinus is. People should know that pilonidal literally means a nest of hairs. On the other hand, a lot of people have heard of a sinus tract and know that it is an abnormal channel, not big in size and located in the body. It is not uncommon for the sinus to discharge pus on the skin.
Pilonidal sinus is actually a sinus tract with hair. It is located under the skin in the area between the buttocks and not far from the anus. This is the location where it occur the most but it can occur in other places as well.
The causes of a pilonidal sinus
The experts are still unsure of the real cause of pilonidal sinus. There are several theories on what may cause it. For instance, one of the theories claims that it occurs due to the hereditary or a congenital abnormality in the skin of the natal cleft. This theory would explain why several family members might suffer from it.
Another theory claims that people develop skin dimples in the skin between the buttocks. Whatever the reason, the skin will become irritated and a person will experience inflammation in the place where the hair became stuck. It is not uncommon for a person to experience an infection of the skin because of the inflammation. The infection is also recurring in many cases as well.
The people who are affected with pilonidal sinus
According to some studies in the UK, 26 people out of 100,000 are affected with pilonidal sinus every year. It is not common for children and people over the age of 40 to be affected by it. Men are also four times more affected by it than women because they have more hair.
Certain factors that increase the chances of getting affected with pilonidal sinus are obesity, a previous persistent irritation or injury to the affected area, a hairy natal cleft and a family history. People who sit a lot also have a greater chance of ending up with pilonidal sinus.
In most cases, people are not even aware that they are suffering from this condition. The symptoms usually get developed at some stage. They can also be acute or chronic. A person who experiences pain and swelling over a couple of days as an infected abscess develops in and around the sinus is considered to be experiencing acute symptoms.
40% of all people experience a recurrence of the pilonidal sinus. In these situations, the doctors will recommend surgery in order for a person to be free of it for good. The patient should also talk to his or her doctor about the possible treatments for pilonidal sinus.