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Aside from being a young adult, other factors believed to increase the risk of pilonidal disease include obesity, coarse and stiff hair, a sedentary lifestyle and a family history of the condition. People who wear tight clothing or participate in certain exercises like horseback riding or bike riding may also be prone to developing blocked hair follicles.

A pilonidal cyst is visible and palpable to the touch. It is normal for a cyst to drain blood, pus or even clear liquid, growing increasingly red and tender over time. An infection typically causes pus with a foul odor and is sometimes accompanied by fever.

Treatment for pilonidal disease usually includes draining an acute abscess. This process is quick and typically performed under local anesthesia in the comfort of your doctor’s office. For chronic conditions, surgery may be needed to excise the sinuses surrounding the cysts.