Comprehensive Laser & Aesthetics
What is a Pilonidal Cyst?
A pilonidal cyst is a sac of air- or fluid-filled tissue usually formed in the crease of the buttocks. They’re extremely uncomfortable, lead to severe self-consciousness, and make it difficult to sit down. You might also experience foul-smelling pus and blood drainage from the cyst. If left untreated, pilonidal cysts become abscessed and cause severe complications.
Causes of Pilonidal Cysts
Pilonidal cysts usually occur when loose hairs penetrating from the skin are pushed back down into the skin because of friction, tight clothing, or long periods of sitting still. Your body reacts to the ingrown hair as a foreign object and creates a cyst around it. Over time, the cyst becomes a swollen abscess with accumulated pus and infection.
Risk Factors for Pilonidal Cysts
You have a higher risk of pilonidal cysts if you’re obese, lead a sedentary lifestyle, or have a job that requires long hours of sitting still. People with lots of body hair are also more likely to experience pilonidal cysts because there’s more opportunity for the growing hair to be pushed back into the skin. Pilonidal cysts are also more common among men in their 20s.
Recurrence Rate After Pilonidal Surgery
Draining the cyst without complete removal has an extremely high risk of recurrence. Removing the cyst but closing the wound with stitches immediately also has a high risk of recurrence—though the risk is lower than the first option. Removing the cyst and leaving the wound open has the lowest risk of recurrence, but the risk is still present.
One in four patients undergoing pilonidal surgery experience a recurrence. Pilonidal cysts have a high risk of recurrence because surgery doesn’t address the root cause—the inward growth of hair due to various lifestyle factors and causes. As such, most patients resume their daily activities after the surgery, only to experience a pilonidal cyst soon after.
Laser Therapy: The Treatment for Recurrent Pilonidal Cysts
Laser therapy is a fairly new procedure for pilonidal cysts, but it has shown immense promise in addressing the root cause of your problem. Laser treatment kills the hair follicles in the high-friction regions to prevent hair growth altogether, so you no longer have a risk of ingrown hair, thus removing the risk of pilonidal cysts.
It’s worth mentioning that laser treatment reduces the risk of recurrence, but it doesn’t remove the cyst itself. As such, you should opt for laser therapy after the pilonidal surgery to prevent future hair growth in the region, significantly reducing the risk of recurrence. Laser therapy is completely non-surgical and non-invasive with no downtime.
Advantages of Laser Treatment
- Addresses the root cause of pilonidal cyst recurrence
- Reduces the risk of recurrence
- Non-surgical and non-invasive treatment
- No downtime or extended recovery
- No pain or discomfort
- Improves cosmetic appearance in the region
Why Choose Comprehensive Laser?
Comprehensive Laser is a state-of-the-art medical spa and laser center outfitted with the most advanced laser technologies suitable for all skin types. Our licensed and certified providers carefully examine the site of pilonidal cyst recurrence, review your medical history, and curate the ideal treatment plan for your unique concerns.
Jessica graduated from Chamberlain University College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science degree. She has performed thousands of aesthetic laser procedures at Comprehensive Laser and is passionate about her career in the aesthetics field.