Pilonidal Care Program

The Pilonidal Care Program at Boston Children’s Hospital specializes in the treatment of pilonidal disease. Our team has a broad range of expertise in treating pilonidal disease and preventing its recurrence. We are the largest pilonidal care program for young adults in North America.

Pilonidal disease is a chronic skin infection that occurs when hair follicles in the area between the buttocks become plugged up. If the plugged follicles rupture under the skin, the area becomes infected and painful. Pilonidal disease is relatively common in teens and young adults and affects boys more often than girls.

Pilonidal "Cyst"

Why choose the Pilonidal Care Program?

We treat more than 300 children and teens with pilonidal disease each year. The benefit of our experience is supported by our success rate of over 90 percent without the need for painful, debilitating operations.  

We research every aspect of the care we provide and create a customized plan specific for the needs of each patient. We treat the vast majority of our patients with non-invasive care. 

High-quality, low-impact care

Our main priority is providing care that has the least impact on a patient’s life. To us, this means the least pain, fewest days of missed school and the shortest period of exercise restrictions. Our patients enjoy a full sports and activity level throughout the course of their treatment with no restrictions.

Teen years are short. Every patient deserves to live free of the burden of this disease during this important time. We have two mottos in our clinic: 1. No torture and 2. no surprises. We explain everything that we do in full detail in advance and alert patients to anything that is even potentially painful.  

How we treat pilonidal cysts

Our treatment plan begins with improved hygiene and hair removal, as needed. For patients with thick, coarse hair, we offer laser hair removal.  

Once the acute inflammation has resolved we perform a sinusectomy in the office with local anesthesia. After the well-tolerated procedure, patients have no activity restrictions and can promptly return to their pre-procedure activities.  

Patients return for follow-up office visits and wound checks at six to eight-week intervals until they have no further signs of pilonidal disease and have a minimum risk of recurrence.