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My brother is 25 and he has been diagnosed with Pilonidal disease. I have to be honest and say that I have no idea what this is? Can someone be kind enough to tell me more about it? I would really like to know more.

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Pilonidal disease is a small infected pocket just under the skin at the bottom of the spine and it occurs when a pit or small pouch becomes filled with hairs. The word pilonidal basically means "nest of hairs" and if the hairs begin to burrow into the skin or become ingrown, an infection can result. This condition is most common in men with a lot of body hair and it tends to occur when they are in their teens or twenties. This can cause tenderness at the base of the spine and sitting may be painful. Also, there may be a foul smelling substance oozing from the site and an abscess may form (an enclosed infection filled with pus). Symptoms of infection are: swelling, pain, redness and heat. Treatment of an acute abscess is to open and drain it and if the problem comes back, it may require surgery. The surgeon removes tissue surrounding the abscess and then stitches the pocket closed or converts it to an open pouch. The operation is done under anesthesia and the patient needs to stay in hospital for short time.
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