|I tripped over this thread looking up this subject for myself, not seeking a free cod-science internet diagnosis but to see if any helpful symptom management techniques were available.
I'm sorry that so many of you seem terrified of going to the Dr either for fear, embarrassment or financial reasons. I work as a health professional in the UK and know a LITTLE bit about this stuff.
Some of you are clearly describing the symptoms of Pilonidal Sinus, some piles or Hemorrhoids both internal and external and some of you mention symptoms that are a little more alarming.
Firstly, to dispell any massive worries and this is not absolutely factual but a good-ish rule of thumb is that if it hurts it's not likely to be cancer. Cancer is a silent disease in a lot of cases otherwise people would go and get it sorted earlier in most cases. Any significant and extended bowel habit changes and extended bleeding does need a medical practitioner to intervene, if only to reassure you. Bowel cancer is one of the most treatable cancers when caught at the right time.
Piles are treatable via suppositories which can be bought over the counter. As so many of you don't want to go to the doctor, a lot of the treatments are available over the counter without prescription (1 in 2 people gets piles and apart from pregnant women, about 1 in a million ever discuss it - so you are not alone!!). Certainly you can also rupture a little vein under the skin without even noticably hurting the area and end up with a firm blood blister (which hurts a lot) but generally suppositories won't do you any harm!! If anything the worst to expect is no benefit (and it's worth the gamble). Ask your pharmacist for an over the counter treatment (Google it and ask for it by name and then they won't even ask you any questions as they'll presume you are a 'seasoned sufferer' and trust you know what to do!! Oh and consider a bit of lube whilst you are embarrassing yourself in the pharmacy as a few of the suppositories are made up of a clay like base and they are dry (so not nice if you are really sore there).
If the mass is on a buttock or your natal cleft (that is the nice name for the space between your cheeks) then it is very likely you have the synus I mentioned above (especially if you are expressing pus).Pilonidal Sinus's are more common in men and are experienced by people who either have a fair amount of hair in their natal cleft (and one ingrows often) or sit a lot and put pressure on a point which has a spot/hair trying to grow out so long-distance drivers etc see it more. Such synus's can be chronic or acute but you really can get them resolved and you will wonder why you never did before. If it causes you so much pain and embarrassment in your personal life, why would you imagine that a quick trip to the dr and a minor procedure (if necessary) would cause you more difficulties? Come on guys, some of you sound like you've been in pain for ages!! It really is not a big thing for healthcare professionals and, so long as you wash well, nothing to be ashamed of (My goodness you'd be amazed the state some people turn up in when they can wash and just expect to be dealt with like it's fine to smell..).
Another one some of you may be talking about is a Bartholin's abscess or cyst on the external labia. Usually not a big problem but again very treatable!!
I can only urge you all to consider thinking about medical input. Please remember that we health care professionals are also human and empathise with patients presenting as nervous or ashamed (when they dont need to be).
But, basic things to know for you ALL:
A Cotton Underwear and loose!!
B Very careful hygiene and only the most gentle and unscented of soaps etc!! Go for baby products and the more 'medical' the better. As people worried about that area tend to over compensate - you may be aggrevating the cause.
C Over the Counter treatments for piles (not for you all with bumps more than an inch away from your anus) - try it! What can go wrong? Ok you have to push something up your bottom but its not a baseball bat (these things are not a cemtimeter in diameter and 3 cms long). The pharmacist won't shout your order across the shop!!
D Moisten toilet tissue with warm water when cleaning to reduce friction!
But, most of all guys, go see a professional - you are very likely to thank me for that bit of advice!! Ignoring something often does not make it go away and stress is bad for your health!! Even those of you worried about the big C word - guys it's never too late to check out what has being going on for ages - knowing what it is gives you options - tumors dont grow smaller or faster just because someone diagnoses them!!
Anyway, I popped a suppository about 3 hours ago My ass hurts when I stand up (just whilst standing up not once in standing - that would be alarming!!) and I came to this site for some practical solutions not to preach...
I hope you all think about what I've just told you, it might be the best advice you ever got in your life!!