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profpo31 03-16-2005 09:09 PM

bump on rear end
This is extremely embarassing, but recently a bump as developed on the very top of the crack on my butt. It feels like a somewhat hard lump, and it has happened before but goes away after a while. It makes it extremely painful to sit down on hard chairs and hurts somewhat when i get up from sitting anywhere. What could this be? I'm very embarassed by this and don't know who to talk to about it. Is it a cyst or something like that? It is right on the top of the butt, only on the right side. Thanks for your help

spongebobgamma 03-16-2005 10:51 PM

Re: bump on rear end

Is the lump by your tailbone? Look up Pilonidal cyst on the net and see if that matches your symptons..Is it possible it could be a boil?? Either way you proberly need to see a Dr..

Soibhan 03-16-2005 10:53 PM

Re: bump on rear end
I'm sure it's a cyst of some sort. You might try soaking in a warm bath twice a day for about 15 mins. Sometimes that will soften them up and make them disappear. If it doesn't go away soon, see your doctor. I sympathize with your embarrassment, but docs have seen it all and they do their best to make you comfortable. Hope it goes away real soon!

gemmy200 03-17-2005 04:35 AM

Re: bump on rear end
I had one of these a few months back, it kind of freaked me out a bit, but after soaking in a hot tub a few times a day it went away. I think mine was boil. I'm sure its nothing to worry about! Good luck and God bless!

profpo31 03-17-2005 08:33 AM

Re: bump on rear end
thank you guys, i appreciate the responses...

I checked the cyst you told me could be the answer, and it sounds like that could be it. It is located at the end of the tailbone and hurts like hell when I sit the wrong way on it. Sound like that's what it is...

What is the next thing I should do? Are there any home treatments I should try like soaking in a hot bath before I make a trip to the doctors? I read on some of the sites about that cyst that people can either fight through the pain or see a doctor. I would like to try and treat it before going to a doctor over it. Thanks again for all of your help.

spongebobgamma 03-17-2005 01:17 PM

Re: bump on rear end
Profpo if it is the cyst I dont know of any home treatments for it. I know the Dr will lance it and then pack it with gaze. You would have to repact it daily yourself until it is healed. The Dr can just remove it and stitch it up but it seems they prefer to lance it first.

Best to see a Dr to make sure of the dx first..maybe he will know of any home treatments you can try. Good luck and let us know what you find out..

ScruffyGuy 03-17-2005 04:20 PM

Re: bump on rear end
It's important to stress here that you MUST get this diagnosed. There ARE many things you can do at home that will help with a pilonidal cyst -- but you have to KNOW if this is what you have or you will be wasting time and money doing things that aren't going to be helpful at all!

First, in BRIEF, here's what you need to know about a pilonidal cyst:

It will NOT "go away" on its own. It may not BOTHER you with proper care, it may not get infected, it may flare-up only after many years of remission -- or it may become a horrible burden that torments you several times a year.

There is NO WAY to know what will happen. It's a "wait and see" kind of thing.

People who claim they have had pilonidal cysts that "go away" are mistaking a period of remission as a cure. The only way to remove a cyst is through surgery. The surgeries for this are many and varied, from radical removal of large areas of flesh to more conservative treatments which aim toward better and faster recover and removing as little surrounding tissue as possible.

Pilonidals in their early stages are best treated right away. The more a pilonidal cyst flares up and becomes infected, the more likely a doc will want to perform a more radical surgery because the cyst has spread infection through drainage channels called "sinus tracts" in the surrounding tissues.

There are many stages of these kinds of cysts. They can range from being a minor nuisance to a life-changing horror. Some folks can live forever without experiencing the worst of it. Some folks are unlucky and suffer often -- in which case surgery becomes more or less the only available option -- it is not possible to live with the extreme pain for long. Some cysts will drain a little fluid for years -- it can be bothersome to have to keep them bandaged for a long time, but there is little associated pain.

So, then. The home-care tips you are seeking include:

Hot baths, as mentioned. Soak two or three times daily in a hot sitz bath. This is helpful to many folks.

Shaving the area. Yes, you heard right. About half of all pilonidal cysts have hair inside of them, which causes a foreign body reaction and infection. Shaving over the area where the cyst is located can be helpful in avoiding getting more hairs inside. Hairs can enter from sinus tracts that are open OR they can meander inside through the follicles and pores -- or ingrown hairs can be problematic on their own.

Use a product called NoBumpRX to reduce the chance of ingrown hairs.

Do NOT sit for long periods of time and put pressure on the area. Make sure you stand up often if you have a job that requires sitting or you spend a long time on the PC or watching TV, etc.

Get yourself a "coccyx cushion." This is a pad that has a cut-out hole in the back which allows your tailbone to hang down in the air as you sit. You can get these in any surgical supply or orthopedic store or order them online.

When showering, rinse your posterior LAST to make sure that any loose hairs are removed from the area.

DRY yourself well when you get out of the bath or shower. Use a thick terry-cloth towel and vigorously rub the area to loosen hairs and oily secretions. Obviously you can only do this if you are not in pain. Also, aim your blow-dryer at the area and dry it off completely when you are done bathing. Just be careful not to burn yourself.

You can wash with antibacterial products like Hibiclens, a surgical scrub sold in any pharmacy for about $10 per bottle. It will last a long time. Read and follow the directions carefully. You can also use antibacterial soaps, etc.

There are some additional, "out of the box" remedies that some people have tried like colloidal silver or tobacco compresses -- but beware: these can be dangerous and are unproven. Also, they will be utterly useless if you do NOT have a pilonidal cyst -- so DIAGNOSIS is very important here. Most of the stories I have read about folks who try these alternative treatments end up with little results and ultimately have surgery anyway.

It's not a good idea to discuss surgical options just yet until you know for sure if you have a pilonidal cyst or not.

I will say, however, that a lancing can be helpful when you are in pain or if you have an active infection that is not painful. It is NOT true that ALL lancings will result in being packed with gauze. Some, but not all. It depends on your particular case. Sometimes a lancing will heal very, very fast with no packing or difficult after-care involved. Other times a lancing will require more effort and discomfort during the healing process. A lancing does NOT remove the cyst and it is NOT a cure -- it is a way to clear out infection and HOPEFULLY provide a period of remission. Some people can experience YEARS of remission from a lancing. Other folks... the cyst becomes infected again immediately.

This is a complex condition that requires a lot of thought and a DIAGNOSIS is IMPERATIVE.

Living with it is entirely possible if you are not experiencing severe pain on a regular basis. But if you end up getting repeated infections over and over -- odds are good they will get MUCH worse as time goes by. Many people report incidents of pain that is so intense they cannot move. Walking is impossible, sitting, sleeping, etc.

The good news is that once the infection is cleared out and the cyst is drained, the pain goes away. Also good news -- a pilonidal cyst isn't going to kill you, but unfortunately it isn't a great idea to allow your body to fight repeated infections for long periods of time.

Antibiotics can be helpful before and after a lancing or surgical procedure, but they rarely stop infections from happening and once a cyst is inflamed they are more or less useless at penetrating so much pus and blood contained within the cyst. Also, because there is likely a foreign body reaction in play, antibiotics can't put an end to that because the foreign body remains inside.

My personal suggestions for how to handle this, based on EXPERIENCE are as follows:

GET AN DIAGNOSIS. Do not be embarrassed. All you have to do is lower your pants and show a doc. You do not even need to take your pants OFF entirely. No doc cares about seeing your butt! DO IT NOW!

Evaluate your condition WITH your doctor. Are you in pain all the time? Is it getting worse?

Most folks will go for a lancing first. Try that. It is mostly painless and done in the doc's office. Five minutes. You go home immediately and rest for just a few days at most. You might need to pack it, you might not. You will be given antibiotics as you heal. These will help, but remember, they are NOT a cure and the cyst is NOT "gone." The cyst is there and can become infected again at any time. But getting the infection drained is a good start and you might get a period of remission that can last a long time.

If you get more infections after a lancing, you can try MORE lancings or consider surgery.

In the interim, use the home-care measures I outlined above. These will help prevent infection from recurring -- or at least delay it.

If you end up wanting to consider surgical options, post again and we'll talk more in depth about that, but don't rush into it. This surgery has many associated risk factors during the healing process that need to be evaluated. I recommend CONSERVATIVE surgery as opposed to radical removal of huge amounts of flesh.

If you find out you have "just a boil," be happy! Though they share many characteristics, a boil and a pilonidal cyst are two different things. A boil is preferable -- boils often go away and don't return.

Best of luck to you. Post again if you want to talk more.

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