Sex, Drugs and Dermatology


This is a blog about how some medications can be linked to hidradenitis suppurativa. I would like to provide this information as a forum for people who have been diagnosed with HS and are taking the following medications. I am not saying that these medications cause HS, but that they may increase the chances of getting HS or other skin conditions. These medications include:

* Certain antibiotics, including:

* Amoxicillin

* Streptomycin

* Ciprofloxacin

* Penicillin

* Antidepressants/anti-anxiety medications, including:

* Prozac (fluoxetine)

* Paxil (paroxetine)

* Zoloft (sertraline)

* Effexor (venlafaxine)

* Cymbalta (duloxetine)

I will discuss each medication in detail, along with what I think may be the causal link between it and HS symptoms. However, before we get into those details, let me explain why this blog is even here in the first place!

To be fair, there is a lot of information out there in the internet about hidradenitis suppurativa. However, I feel that the information is more about what it is and how to manage it through treatments, surgeries and other methods. There is little information about how to prevent it. So I am going to talk about prevention from an alternative medicine perspective.

As we all know hideadenitis suppurativa can be a chronic condition where skin boils can occur in areas such as the armpits, groin and under the breasts. The boils can get infected, burst and leave scarring on the skin. The only known cause for hidradenitis suppurativa is smoking which is one of many reasons why you should quit cigarette smoking if you do smoke and never start in the first place.

So what else can you do besides stop smoking? Well one thing you could do is avoid taking certain medications that increase your chances of getting hidradenitis suppurativa. These medications are analgesics (painkillers) such as Ibuprofen, Indomethacin and Acetaminophen; birth control pills that contain levonorgestrel or norethindrone; prednisone; or cocaine. Of course you should always consult

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic skin condition in which areas of the skin have clogged sweat glands and hair follicles. This can lead to abscesses that form deep below the skin, which are often painful.

The exact cause is unknown, but HS is not contagious. It is more likely to affect people who smoke and those who are overweight. HS is also associated with other inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease, pyoderma gangrenosum and cystic acne.

While there’s no known cure for HS, there are several treatments available that can help reduce symptoms. This includes topical treatments, antibiotic medications and surgery. There are also some natural treatments that may provide relief, including compresses and oatmeal baths.

When I was a young dermatologist, I heard about a case of hidradenitis suppurativa linked to isotretinoin (Accutane). This was at a time when patients were only allowed to take the medication for six to nine months and doses were much lower than today. Since then, I’ve seen other cases of hidradenitis suppurativa in patients taking isotretinoin or dapsone (another treatment for acne).

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic skin disease that causes painful, boil-like bumps to develop in the armpits, groin, and other areas of the body where there are skin-to-skin contacts. A subtype of HS, called perianal HS, can also develop around the anus. The bumps may be swollen and filled with pus. The disease gets worse over time and can result in scarring.

Doctors don’t know exactly what causes hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). But they do know that this disease is not contagious or cancerous. It is not caused by poor hygiene either.

The disease seems to run in families. HS often appears during puberty, although it can start as early as age 8 or as late as 60 years of age. Women are affected 2 to 3 times more often than men.

Doctors have linked certain factors to HS:

* Being overweight

* Smoking

* Having certain medications in the past like birth control pills and steroids

* Having certain other diseases like Crohn’s disease and AIDS

This past week I saw a patient who was suffering from hidradenitis suppurativa, a chronic, recurrent inflammatory skin condition that causes painful inflamed lumps in the underarm and groin area.

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a debilitating disease with no known cure. It can be debilitating for more than just physical reasons. The lesions are typically foul smelling and can also cause itching, burning and bleeding.

This patient has tried quite a few treatments for hidradenitis suppurativa, but nothing so far has helped much. In addition to topical antibiotics, she has tried Accutane (isotretinoin), methotrexate and Humira (adalimumab). She’s now trying oral antibiotics along with a new medication called Xeljanz (tofacitinib citrate).

As we were talking about her treatment options, I asked what she was doing for pain management. She told me she was taking Aleve twice daily and Vicodin as needed. I asked if she had ever heard of medical marijuana and she said yes, but she didn’t think that would help her much.

It turns out that medical marijuana may help relieve some of the symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa: pain and


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