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Pilonidal cyst, small open wound, blood coming out, surgery done twice. Chances of infection while swimming ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
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I have pilonidal cyst, and I have already had the surgery twice, and now it came back. I know I have to do the surgery again, but I'll wait some time so I have the money to pay it. My question is... I'm going to the beach this weekend, and I'm afraid of swimming in the sea, because my cyst has a 1 cm opening where a little blood is coming out. When this opening appears, it usually closes after 1 week. So, is there a real danger of catching an infection, if I swim in the sea? If so, is there any way I could swim in the sea and protect the cyst so it won't catch any infection?
Posted Mon, 23 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 21 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

I shall address your concern based on your current given information.

I understand you need help with your Pilonidal Cyst, that I believe had an open wound surgery to allow drainage.

1. Getting infected in the swim?
Yes, as it is an open wound, any infection at sea would obviously be a risk and you would hamper the process of healing, which is faster when kept maximally dry. And if in bath, one advises glycerine soap. But, swimming in public places is best avoided till complete healing.

2. Any way to protect from infection ?
Well, even if you try to manually pack watertight plaster around the wound, you are in unknown territory with the medical risk, as it is not foolproof. So, it is not advisable.

I hope I have answered your concern on a broad sense now.

I will be available for follow up queries if any.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Pilonidal cyst, small open wound, blood coming out, surgery done twice. Chances of infection while swimming ? 45 minutes later
Thank you for your answer Dr. XXXXXXX N Charugulla! Sorry the bad english.

Actually, the open wound isn't result from the surgery. I had my surgery 2 years ago. The wound opened because the cyst came back, because the surgery wasn't successful. So, the cyst opened the wound so the blood inside the cyst could get out.

But, swimming in sea, could I get diseases such as AIDS , hepatitis, etc?

Thanks a lot!!
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 18 minutes later

Thanks for writing again.

It would not cause HIV or Hepatitis infection.

But the chances of Bacterial infections are more in such situations.

A recreational water illness, is caused by coming into contact with germs and it can cause wound infections.

So, I would suggest you to be careful and avoid swimming till your lesion heals completely.

I hope I have answered your query.

Wish you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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