There’s a Reason You May Have Never Heard of “Jeep Disease”

If you've never heard of Jeep disease, you're not alone. During World War II, more than 80,000 soldiers became the victims of pilonidal disease, which came to be commonly known as “Jeep disease.” That’s because soldiers sitting in Jeeps for long periods of time were plagued by hair ends making their way into the skin between the gluteal region. That caused pilonidal cysts, a combination of two words: pilus — meaning “hair” — and nidal — meaning “nest.” In other words, it’s a nest of hair. Anyone can develop a pilonidal cyst, but it mainly affects people between the age of 16 and 30, and males are more affected than females. It can cause recurrent infection that’s associated with chronic pain, discomfort and swelling that lasts for several days. It’s most often treated with drainage and antibiotics, but in severe cases is treated by surgical removal.