A pilonidal cyst forms in the crease of the buttocks, also known as the natal cleft region (see image). They are often seen as lumps or bumps protruding from the skin that are painful and warm to the touch.
The first known case of pilonidal cysts dates back to 1833 when Dr. Herbert Mayo described it as a hair filled abscess. It wasn’t until 1880 that Dr. R.M. Hodge coined the term “pilonidal cyst”.
The word pilonidal is Latin which literally means “a nest of hairs”. It got its name because most pilonidal cysts can be observed having lots of loose hairs embedded inside the cyst itself. Hair essentially gets lodged back into the pores of the skin causing inflammation which later turns into an abscess containing trapped hair inside.
It was at one time commonly referred to as jeep disease because more than 100,000 soldiers in World War II developed the condition and required hospitalization from riding in bumpy jeeps for long periods of time. Whether or not that was the official cause of their cysts is still up for debate.
Pilonidal cyst is a disease and as such can also be called pilonidal disease. You may also hear it referred to as a pilonidal abscess, pilonidal sinus, sebaceous cyst or sacrococcygeal fistula.
It is documented that Rush Limbaugh once avoided service to the Vietnam war by having his physician certify his medical unfitness to serve due to a pilonidal cyst.
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More info @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilonidal_cyst