Sacral dimple appears as a small indentation at the small of the back, just above the crease of the buttocks, usually present from birth. When the dimple is present at the level of the coccyx bone of the backbone, it is called coccygeal dimple. Most of them do not cause any health disturbances unless the body hair grows inward or the area develops infection. The cause of the condition is not known.
Symptoms of Sacral Dimple:
Sacral dimples do not present any obvious dimples. However, when they get infected due to exposure or accumulation of water or other pollutants, they show up as blisters or wounds with pus. Only when sacral or coccygeal dimples are accompanied by a defect in the spine, they show up with symptoms like tuft of hair, bruise or skin tag near the dimple.
If sacral dimple becomes infected, it can turn into pilonidal cyst. The infection may be caused due to excessive sweat, thick body hair, shaving or any other damage to skin in the area, etc. During infection, the following symptoms occur:
Diagnosis of Sacral Dimple:
Physical examination is done to look at the location and severity of the pilonidal cyst. If the sacral dimple looks large, very deep and farther from the crease of the buttocks or if the doctor sees any skin tag, a patch of hair or bruise around the sacral dimple, an ultrasound may be advised. Blood tests may be performed for diagnosing the infection to prescribe antibiotics.
Treatment for infected sacral dimple:
Sacral dimple does not require any intervention until it gets infected and turns into pilonidal cyst. The usual course of treatment is to drain the infection or abscess by lancing open the wound. Local or general anesthesia is given during the procedure and the pus and the debris is drained out from the cavity.
Different approaches to the infection site via surgery are there and the doctor decides which one to adopt based on the infection.
The surgery can be extensive or simple depending on the size of the dimple and the extent of infection. The wound may be left open by packing gauze or may be sutured up.
Prevention of infection in persons with sacral dimple:
People who have sacral dimple but not yet infected, need to maintain proper hygiene and keep the area clean and free of hair. Proper sitting posture and avoiding clothing that chafes the sacral or coccyx regions is the best way to prevent. Proper sitting posture is recommended. One can use doughnut pillow or coccyx cushion to keep the pressure off the tailbone and the surrounding muscles.