Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic skin disease that can be quite painful at times. It is often confused with acne, but it isn’t acne. What you may think is a pimple may actually be a nodule or boil in the skin that has become inflamed.
Hidradenitis suppurativa usually shows up in the groin area and under the arms, but it can also spread to other hairy areas of the body, like behind the ears, on the breasts, and in belly button folds. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent scarring and make everyday activities difficult or even impossible.
There are many different ways to treat hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), and it’s important to find a treatment plan that works for you. You may have to try out several methods before you find one that provides relief. But don’t give up! Once you find a treatment plan that works for you, you’ll be able to live with this condition without letting it interfere with your life.
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, recurrent skin disease that is characterized by deep-seated nodules, abscesses and sinus tracts. The nodules are found in the armpits, groin, under the breasts and other locations where skin rubs together. Hidradenitis suppurativa can be very painful, debilitating, cause physical disfiguration and have an adverse impact on quality of life.
You might have hidradenitis suppurativa if you have:
– Recurrent or continuous areas of inflammation with abscesses and sinus tracts.
– Involvement of two or more apocrine gland-bearing areas.
– Absence of other diseases that may resemble hidradenitis suppurativa.
Hidradenitis suppurativa is not an infectious disease, nor is it contagious to others. It usually begins as clogged hair follicles or plugged sweat glands in areas where there is friction between skin surfaces such as underarms, groin, buttocks and breasts. The inflammation slowly spreads to include more areas of the body over time.
I was diagnosed with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) in the summer of 2014. I had strange, painful bumps under both my arms and on my thighs. The first doctor I visited was a dermatologist who misdiagnosed me with folliculitis and prescribed antibiotics. Thankfully, I wasn’t patient enough to wait for the antibiotics to work, so I visited a different dermatologist who correctly diagnosed me with HS.
HS is an incurable, chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by recurring abscesses and draining or inflamed cysts. These abscesses can form tunnels under the skin called fistulas. The most common sites are the armpits, groin, buttocks and inner breasts although they can occur anywhere on the body where apocrine sweat glands are located1.
HS can be mild, moderate or severe depending on the number of abscesses that occur each month and how long they last2. For example, HS is considered mild if there are fewer than three areas affected at any given time and there are no abscesses lasting longer than 6 weeks.
I am fortunate that my HS is classified as mild because it only affects small areas of my body (usually less than 1 inch diameter). However, it still causes significant pain and discomfort
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a skin disease that causes painful, inflamed acne-like bumps and abscesses. In severe cases, the disease can cause skin tunnels, sinus tracts, and cicatrices (scar tissue). The exact cause of HS is unknown. However, risk factors include:
– Family history
HS typically begins during adolescence or early adulthood, although it can affect people of any age. It affects women more than men.
It occurs most often in areas where skin rubs together, such as underarms, groin, buttocks and breasts. It may also occur in areas where there are hair follicles and apocrine glands, such as the face, neck and scalp. This inflammatory condition is chronic; it will come back again and again for years.
Treatment Options for Hidradenitis Suppurativa
Hidradenitis suppurativa is difficult to treat because its cause is not fully understood. There are several treatment options available that work for some people but not others. There are no cures for hidradenitis suppurativa. Treatment options include:
– Topical therapies
Hidradenitis Suppurativa is a chronic skin condition that can be debilitating to sufferers. The National Institutes of Health state that the cause of HS is unknown, although there are many theories.
HS typically appears in areas where skin rubs together, such as the groin, underarms, inner thighs and buttocks. Early symptoms include red bumps and painful nodules that can break open and drain pus or other fluids. As the condition progresses, sinus tracts may develop which connect with other abscesses.
While HS can affect anyone, it most commonly affects women between the ages of 20 and 29. It is often misdiagnosed as acne vulgaris or folliculitis, two very common skin conditions that do not respond to usual treatment for acne or folliculitis.
Early diagnosis is essential to prevent HS from progressing to more advanced stages that are much harder to treat successfully. Consulting a dermatologist specializing in HS will help you create a treatment plan suited to your specific needs.
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects the sweat glands, especially in the armpits, groin and under the breasts. It is more common in those who are overweight, have diabetes or have suffered from acne.
It starts as painful boils and cysts that form under the skin. These lumps tend to develop in areas of skin-to-skin contact such as armpits, under breasts, buttocks and groin area. They can become infected and may leave permanent scars.
Most people will notice symptoms by the time they reach their early 20s but it can start at any age. Symptoms can come and go but flare ups can last for weeks or months. There are treatments available to help prevent flare ups and reduce symptoms.