Showering at the end of the day to remove stray hairs from the cleft between your buttocks may also help.
If symptoms develop, they can vary from developing discomfort to developing a large painful mass (abscess). The sinus may drain fluid that may be clear, cloudy or bloody. With infection, the area becomes red, tender, and the drainage (pus) will have a foul smell. The infection may also cause fever, malaise, or nausea. If a pilonidal sinus becomes infected, it should be treated sooner rather than later as it's likely to get worse without treatment. Treatment usually involves taking antibiotics and having the pus drained from the abscess during a minor operation called incision and drainage.
There are several common patterns of this disease. Many patients who develop symptoms present with the sudden development of an acute abscess (the area is swollen, tender, and may drain pus). After the abscess resolves, either by itself or with medical assistance (e.g. an operation to drain the abscess), many patients develop a chronic discharge form the opening i.e. a discharging pilonidal sinus. The sinus is a cavity below the skin surface that connects to the surface with one or more small openings or tracts. Although a few of these sinus tracts may resolve without therapy, most patients need a small operation to eliminate them.
A small number of patients develop recurrent infections and inflammation of these sinus tracts. The chronic disease causes episodes of swelling, pain, and drainage. Surgery is almost always required to resolve this condition.