I'm a 27 year old female who also suffers from a pilonid...

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I'm a 27 year old female who also suffers from a pilonidal sinus.

I first discovered I had what looked like a small red dot just at the top of my bottom when I was 19 and at University. It took me a long time to go to the doctor and ask about this as I was embarrassed at what this could be! I kept trying to put sudocrem cream on the area thinking it would heal over but these seemed to make the problem worse and the area felt sore and sometimes itchy. Eventually i went to the doctor about something else and asked her (thankfully female or i think I would have left it) what this could be.

Straightaway she explained that this is probably to do with genes and something about when your body develops in the womb, that area is the last area to fuse together, and occassionally there are problems with the 2 sides joining perfectly. She said it usually develops at my age (18-19) and that men have this more than women. She gave me what I later realise to be good advice and recommended I leave it if it is not bothering me too much- as she knew a male patient who was told to have it cut out by different doctors, and the area just bled and bled and wouldnt heal properly. Obviously this sounded horrific so I tried to leave mine alone and avoided doctors on the whole.

Over the next few years the area would flare up occassionally, (maybe 3 times a year), usually I would feel the area getting sore, then a few days later the painful lump would look white against my skin, was swollen and I would have to sit down sort of sideways on my chair at work, and sleep on my front. After about 2 days of this getting worse eventually the area would rupture (not in a bad way, just the fluid would seem to break out), and some yellow pus and blood would come out, which was actually a relief as I knew it would then drain and I would actually feel more comfortable.

Having a long term boyfriend since university, I used to hide this as I was so embarrassed. Eventually I had to explain this to him, as the red dot was always visible, and I still just call the area 'the dot', and he knows what I mean if i say the 'dot' is playing up! I still hate having this and would dread it if I was single again having to try and explain this to someone and hope they would not be put off!

After coping with this without doctors for the next 7 years, last year I had a really bad episode where I had to take a couple of days off work, and go to my local doctor for antebiotics. He said if I had had this since Uni ( I was now 26 at this point), i should get it operated on.

Obviously those early comments off my 1st doctor were still running through my head, and i was a bit worried about this, but i went to see the consultant anyway who confirmed PNS. i sympathise with the early comment from the girl who was embarrassed as I also hate having the area examined with male doctors, with a female nurse having to be in the room aswell!

The consultant said the area would have to be injected with blue dye whilst I was under anaesthetic, operated on and stitched up, and the cut might go as deep as to the bone, and even then if they find more 'channels' he may have to cut more skin/tissue away!

This sounded awful, and he seemed vague about the chances of this working, saying it was different for everyone, and there were high chances of further operations being needed, and infections. The packing of the wound and the 8 weeks laying on my front (what about going to the toilet?!) also did not appeal.

As soon as I left i discussed this with my mum and decided not to go for this operation. I was not confident and I did not feel confident in the success rate.

The chances of it working and the pain involved seemed too much of a risk, for a few days discomfort every few months. After 8 years it seemed to be regulating itself.

I have finally accepted this and my problem seems to have died down. The red dot is always there but I rarely get flare-ups (fingers crossed, its been nearly a year), so I'm leaving my body to deal with these cycles naturally. I sympathise with anyone else with this problem as the doctors dont seem to know exactly what is the best way of dealing with this and its an embarrasing and uncomfortable affliction. This is the first time I have read other accounts of people with this so thanks for making me feel I made right decision and i'm not the only one! :cheers:

[i:31a7979c48]This message was automatically imported from the original Patient Experience[/i:31a7979c48]

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    thanks for this...really agree with u on this one.

    [i:a1987cd26d]This message was automatically imported from the original Patient Experience[/i:a1987cd26d]

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  • Posted

    Hi Im glad you brought this up as sometimes the cure can be worse than the PS!

    I think its an important point that you make as you have to weigh up the pros and cons before going ahead and not just go with the flow..

    I am having the plastic surgery you have described but i unfortunatley have no choice as I have been on more or less constant anti biotics and pain killers for the last 3.5 years due to the pain and mine does not so much re-occurr as does not ever go away and the abbcess can get to the size of a tennis ball! but its now to the point my stomach has some serious problems also due to the medication.

    I just want to wish you the best of luck with your PS and if you decide things get worse the surgery is always an option open to you.

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  • Posted

    There are other issues to consider here, not just the operation.

    Remember that whil you have this in you your body is having to continually fight off any infection that might come your way..

    I dont know about you but my infection flares up any where from every 1 to 3 months, like your story sometimes I can manage it, its not the worst pain I have had but its the fact that its almost constant during that period that makes it hard to bare.

    The points I am considering before having the op is that I have had 5 colds, 1 case of flu and a few cases of food poisoning that I am convinced would have been lower had I not had this aweful disease.

    Anti biotics make me feel sick in the morning, give me painful stomach and the runs.

    I am a coward however, I am really hoping the surgeon says it does not need to be taken out.

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  • Posted

    i went to doctor twice to get it cut superficially and drain it. It was ok since 4 months i wash it rigorously every day once or twice first with shampoo then iodine. the sinus area wasnt inflamed. i noticed sth goes wrong everymonth i have my periods and hormonal change. i slightly try to keep hairs a bit cut with a small weak trimmer. this month it seems my treatment doesnt work. i feel that my prolactine has elevated a bit( dunno these hormonal problems have anything to do with ps). red dots are so much visible now a bit sore and i am worried. i cant bear another antibiotic treatment. i already got acute esophagus inflammation that is a nightmare. at this stage what u will suggest anyone dealing with this i mean. is there anything else i could do to prevent infection? becoming red means that it is already infected?
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  • Posted

    please avoid any doctor that tells you they will put stitches on it after the surgery, trust i had two surgeries one with stitches and the other just putting a gauze inside until the wound was close. the second method works perfectly and my wound its almost close after a month and three weeks. 
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