If You’ve Got Hidradenitis Suppurativa, Here’s When It’s Serious
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes painful, inflamed bumps to develop in areas where the skin rubs together, including the armpits, groin and under the breasts. Often beginning in adolescence or young adulthood, HS is characterized by deep-seated lumps that may be tender or painful and release foul-smelling pus. The lumps may break open and drain, then heal and recur over time. The Arthritis Foundation estimates that between 1 and 4 percent of the population has HS. The condition can be difficult to treat because there are no medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration specifically for this condition.
In a recent study published in JAMA Dermatology, researchers found that patients with hidradenitis suppurativa who had certain risk factors were much more likely than others to have its most serious form, known as severe HS. These risk factors included being older, having a higher body mass index (BMI), having diabetes or high blood pressure and not having health insurance.
Although it may be tempting to think of hidradenitis suppurativa as a
If you have hidradenitis suppurativa, you know that some days are better than others. However, there is a difference between a bad day and a day when your HS is serious. If you’re not sure how to tell the difference, here are seven signs it’s time to see your doctor.
1. Your skin is hot to the touch.
The first sign that your HS may be getting worse is that your skin feels hot to the touch. This is especially true if the area around your bumps or abscesses is bright red. Even if you don’t have an active lesion, a hot spot could indicate an abscess developing under the skin.
An easy way to check for heat is with a thermometer. Take your temperature every morning and record it in a small notebook or on your phone. Record any changes in symptoms and locations as well as any other information that could be helpful, such as what you ate the day before or when you used certain products or medications.
2. Your abscesses won’t go away with topical treatments.
Hidradenitis suppurativa abscesses are inflamed pockets of pus that can be quite painful and even embarrassing when they’re on visible areas of skin like the face,
If you have hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), or acne inversa, you know that it can be painful and frustrating. But HS is also a uniquely hard condition to manage because it’s so hard to tell when it’s serious.
The problem is that HS is a progressive disease, meaning it evolves over time. The skin lesions and other symptoms you see today are the result of what your body has been doing over many years, not just the last few weeks. And while you may have only mild symptoms now, they could get much worse over time if you don’t get them under control.
So when should you worry about HS?
You can’t rely on your symptoms alone to tell you how serious your disease is. You need a doctor’s help for that. Here’s why:
When I was diagnosed with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), an inflammatory skin disorder that causes lumps, cysts, abscesses and scarring in the underarm region as well as other parts of the body, I felt relieved to finally have answers after going to doctors for years with no luck.
While a diagnosis is wonderful, there’s nothing fun about having HS. It can be painful and frustrating, and there may be times you feel like giving up. But don’t let HS get the best of you. Instead, make sure you’re aware of these signs that you need to go back to your doctor.
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic skin disease that can cause severe scarring and pain. Many people have HS for years before they get the right diagnosis, because they and their doctors don’t know enough about the condition.
I’ve had HS for a long time. I got my first abscess when I was a teenager. But I wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my thirties. In the meantime, my doctors gave me treatment for other conditions that didn’t help, and I ended up with more scars than I would have had if I’d gotten treatment sooner.
If you think you might have HS, you need to see a doctor who has experience with the disease. The doctor may refer you to a dermatologist or another specialist who can give you appropriate treatment.
Some people have a hard time getting rid of HS. The condition is more common in women than men, although it can affect both sexes. It usually starts in the pubic area.
HS can be painful. You may also have a fever, swollen lymph nodes, and weight loss. If you have these symptoms, see your doctor right away. He or she can make sure you get the right treatment for this life-long condition.
If you have mild HS and no other symptoms, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics when you have an outbreak to help clear up the infection quickly and prevent it from spreading to nearby areas. You may also need to take antibiotics to prevent future flare-ups or use them on an as-needed basis when an outbreak occurs.
You may need surgery to remove large lumps if they become infected or don’t respond to other treatment. Your doctor will probably suggest this only after using antibiotic treatments for a while. Experienced surgeons can often remove the cysts without damaging nearby tissues. But surgery is not a cure; cysts often come back later on.
After surgery, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection and lessen scarring, but they won’t stop future flare-ups. Antibiotics are usually taken for 6 to 12 months