I'm a doctor and here's one of the most painful conditions you can endure | The Sun10/18/2022
IF you've ever experienced an ingrowing hair then you know they can be unpleasant – maybe even uncomfortable at worst.
However, Dr Karan Raj, an NHS doctor, has revealed one of the most awful conditions which is actually caused by a pesky ingrown.
The TikTok medic says a pilonidal sinus – a small hole or tunnel in the skin at the top of the buttocks – can become infected because of ingrowing hairs.
Pilonidal sinuses affect about 26 in 100,000 people, with at least three times as many men as women.
Once infected, the surrounding area will cause pain, swelling and a pus-filled abscess will develop.
While the abscess themselves are not dangerous, the infection can be life threatening.
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"This might require a surgical drainage and a cut in your bottom end," he explained.
To fix this, patients must undergo an invasive surgical procedure which involves "cutting this entire region open, creating a huge wound then shutting it closed," Dr Raj explained.
But in an animated surgical video which Dr Raj is reviews, you can see a surgeons trying out a new procedure to get rid of the nasty condition.
In the animation, Dr Raj explains the medics a pushing a fine metal rod into a patients pilonidal sinus – in an attempt to clear out the infection.
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The doctors the flush hydrogen peroxide through the hole to "clear the cavity of anything", he explains.
"Now they are using a laser to scar up the cavity so it closes up by fibrosis and scarring and closes down that sinus.
"Hopefully with this, the healing is much better than traditional surgery," he adds.
Do I have a pilonidal sinus and is it infected?
You may not have any noticeable symptoms at first other than a small, dimple-like depression on the surface of your skin just above the middle of your bum.
But once it becomes infected, it can quickly develop into painful cyst – making it hard to ignore.
The signs of an infection include:
- pain when sitting or standing
- swelling of the cyst
- reddened, sore skin around the area
- pus or blood draining from the abscess, causing a foul odor
- hair protruding from the lesion
- formation of more than one sinus tract, or holes in the skin
You may also experience a low-grade fever, but this is much less common.
What causes a pilonidal sinus and infection?
Medics are not sure what causes a pilonidal sinus.
Some think it may be the result of a skin problem, pressure or friction may cause hair between the buttocks to be pushed inwards.
This may either be hair growing around the buttock area, or loose hair shed from the buttocks or elsewhere that gathers around the buttock cleft and enters the pilonidal sinus.
Pilonidal sinuses are more common in men because they tend to be hairier.
Sitting for long periods can also increase your chances of getting a pilonidal sinus, the NHS website states.
Previously, a women shared her experience of a pilonidal infection, where she nearly died and ended up needing emergency surgery.
Hilary Zink shared a clip on TikTok revealing how her underwear nearly killed her, and her shocking tale has since gone viral, racking up more than five million views.
She captioned the video: “GET CHECKED if you have new symptoms you have and NO IDEA why ! It can save your life.
When should I see a GP?
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If you have a small lump at the top of your bottom – between your buttocks – that's painful, red, bleeding or leaking pus, it's worth getting seen by your doctor.
These symptoms can develop quickly, often over a few days. They're signs of infection and need to be treated.
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