Coccyx fistula

With a coccyx fistula (pilonidal sinus), ingrown hair at the tailbone causes inflammation of the fatty tissue under the skin.

Overview

With a coccyx fistula (pilonidal sinus), ingrown hair at the tailbone causes inflammation of the fatty tissue under the skin. The infected area is red and weeping, and can be very painful. Good personal hygiene is a preventive measure, but sometimes an operation is needed to remove the fistula.

Symptoms

Main symptoms

  • Initially there is only a small pimple on the lower back (often directly at the cleft of the buttocks)
    • This stage can persist for a long time
  • Increasing redness, swelling and pain at this site
  • Weeping (discharge of pus)

Other symptoms

Causes and treatment

Causes

The cause has not been clearly determined. Frequently, ingrown hairs are part of the problem.

Risk factors
  • Strong hair growth
  • Obesity
  • Sitting down for extended periods
  • Overproduction of sweat
  • Insufficient personal hygiene

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Blood test (inflammatory markers)
Possible therapies
  • A coccyx fistula that doesn't cause complaints doesn’t have to be treated
  • If an abscess has formed (collection of pus), a small incision will be made to drain the pus
  • In the case of recurring infections, the fistula is removed by a small operation

What can I do myself?

  • Good personal hygiene
  • When sitting for prolonged periods, get up and walk around regularly
  • Avoid / reduce overweight

When to see a doctor?

  • Red, swollen and painful bump at the tailbone
  • Weeping pimple at the tailbone
  • Regularly recurring coccyx fistulas

Synonyms

pilonidal sinus, sinus pilonidalis, pilonidal cyst, jeep disease, sacral dermoid cyst

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Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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