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pilonidal sinus wounds, pilonidal cyst, sacrococcygeal fistula



  1. Harris, Connie L. MSc, RN, ET, IIWCC
  2. Laforet, Karen MClSc, BA, RN, IIWCC
  3. Sibbald, R. Gary BSc, MD, MEd, FRCPC(Med Derm), MACP, FAAD, MAPWCA
  4. Bishop, Richard BScN, RN, IIWCC


PURPOSE: To enhance the learner's competence with knowledge of 12 common mistakes in pilonidal sinus care.


TARGET AUDIENCE: This continuing education activity is intended for physicians and nurses with an interest in skin and wound care.


OBJECTIVES: After participating in this educational activity, the participant should be better able to:


1. Demonstrate knowledge of pilonidal sinus care and the 12 common mistakes associated with this care.


2. Apply research-based information to educating patients about self-care for pilonidal sinus wounds.


ABSTRACT: Healing of pilonidal sinus wounds (PSWs) by secondary intention requires an average of 2 to 6 months, but delayed healing may require 1 to 2 years or even longer. Characteristically, these midline wounds are in the natal cleft of the buttocks or sacrococcygeal area of the back. These PSWs have costly financial consequences to the healthcare system and negatively affect the quality of life of the individual with the wound. This article contains an evidence-based literature review supplemented by the clinical expert opinion of the authors. Twelve leading mistakes in assessment and treatment have been identified with appropriate solutions to optimize patient outcomes. A case study is included to illustrate the common clinical challenges with strategies to optimize healing.