Pilonidal cysts are sacs filled with hair and debris in the natal cleft region. It can be itchy and painful. When one of these sacs of hair, skin and other debris get infected, the result is often a hot, itchy and inflamed area near the tailbone between the buttocks.
There is no apparent cause as to why this condition is more common in men than in women, with Caucasian men taking the leading spot. Though, it does not mean that women do not get pilonidal cysts. Some females notice that pilonidal cysts may flare-up at the time of menstrual cycle due to the spikes in hormone levels.
Age, sex, and ethnicity all play an important role in an individual’s risk of getting a pilonidal cyst. Normally, they are more commonly seen in younger men who have a large amount of body hair. Pilonidal cysts are likely to run in families, may be due to the common factors like ethnicity and hair texture that are passed from father to son.
Though there is no clear answer about what causes pilonidal cysts, there is some proof that a hair growing into the skin can kick-start the development. A few patients report a trauma to the area prior to the cyst becomes symptomatic.
Pilonidal sinus infection almost always affects those between the age of 13 and 45. More frequently, men in their late teens to the early 20s complaint about this type of cyst. These cysts hardly ever occur in seniors, and only rarely in people between the ages of 45 and 65 years. That’s why it is believed that hormones also play a great role in the development of pilonidal cysts.
Other factors that can play a role in pilonidal cyst development include improper personal hygiene, fatness, and profession or leisure pursuit where extensive sitting is necessary. Truck and bus drivers frequently suffer from pilonidal cysts as they can’t avoid sitting in a position for a long duration. Tight clothing may also contribute to the development of pilonidal cysts.