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Get abscess after prolonged sitting around tailbone area. How to prevent this?

Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16303 Questions

Posted on Sun, 8 Dec 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: I have been doing a great deal of sitting lately (writing a novel) and the area in my buttcrack around the tailbone on the right side in very sore and irritated. It does not really itch that much, but it is becoming more and more uncomfortable to sit. I think a abscess might be forming. I had that happen several times a few years back and it always ended in a painful bump filled with pus and blood. I would put heat on it, it would pop and drain and eventually come back. It always seems to relate to sitting a lot. It has not happened in several years, but now I am sitting a lot again. What can I do to prevent this.
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 27 minutes later
Brief Answer: it needs to be incised and drained Detailed Answer: Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic It is quite possible ,as you stated, that there is an abscess that is going to form particularly if you have a history of previous abscess formation. The reason that the abscess would burst then recur is because the effective treatment of an abscess is incision and drainage. Even if it bursts, using an small loci of pus remains that does not drain and this would then allow for infection and recurrence. Normally a doctor needs to incise the area and probe it to break down any pus walls or collections that may remain.If it is not at the stage that incision is possible then the use of warm compression or magnesium sulphate creams will help it get to this point. To prevent future formation, you may want to use something to reduce the pressure on this area when you have to sit for prolonged areas. This would mean either using a sitting ring pressure relief cushion or using a timer to remind yourself to shift position or stand every 10 to 15 minutes for 1 to 3 minutes. By reducing the pressure , this should prevent future formation. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any additional questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 25 minutes later
Is this at all bacteria infection related? Or is it all just from sitting to long? I don't feel an abscess yet, I am just assuming that will happen based on the same thing happening in the past. Is there any way to stop it (like with a cream or ointment), or am I out of luck and just have to wait for the abscess to form and go get it drained?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 51 minutes later
Brief Answer: due to infection and pressure Detailed Answer: HI Yes, the formation and accumulation of pus is related to an infection. Most commonly bacterial The prolonged sitting, by affecting blood supply to a particular area, increases the chance or risk of an infection. In terms of preventing progression of an abscess when it has already started, there are no available techniques that are presently available.Once the process has started, it normally continues till rupture. If it is not an imminent abscess but a superficial infection that may be starting (would also be painful), then the use of a topical antibiotic would help. You can consider the use of the topical antibiotic in case then the infection is merely a superficial infection. This would head it off. Please feel free to ask any additional questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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