Hello Friends! This week we are talking about Hidradenitis Suppurativa. While you may have never heard that term, you probably know someone who is dealing with this problem. Therefore, you are likely to learn something new about a problem your friend or acquaintance faces.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS), also known as acne inversa, is a chronic skin condition that affects many people worldwide. It is characterized by painful, inflamed lumps or nodules that develop in areas where skin rubs together, such as the armpits, groin, and under the breasts. HS can cause significant physical and emotional distress, and it can be challenging to manage.
HS is a long-term condition that often begins in adolescence or early adulthood. It is a type of acne that occurs in areas of the body where skin rubs together, causing the hair follicles to become clogged. The blocked hair follicles can lead to the formation of lumps or nodules that can become infected, resulting in pain and discomfort.
The exact cause of HS is not perfectly understood, but it is thought to be related to a combination of factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, and the body’s immune response. Factors that may trigger outbreaks of HS include stress, changes in hormones, and certain medications.
The symptoms of HS can vary from person to person, but common symptoms include:
- Painful lumps or nodules
- Drainage of pus or other fluids from the lumps
- Emotional distress
Treatment for HS is typically tailored to each individual and may include medications, lifestyle changes, and surgical procedures. Medications used to treat HS may include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and hormones. Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, avoiding triggers, and reducing stress, can also help manage symptoms.
In severe cases, surgical procedures may be necessary to remove the affected areas. However, surgery is typically only recommended after other treatments have been tried and found to be ineffective. If you or someone you love is dealing with this disease, there is a good chance that one of the board certified M.D. dermatologists at Elect Dermatology can give you some significant relief from the burden of this disease.
The photo above is from a patient of ours; the patient was gracious enough to allow us to share a photo. The picture on the left is what the arm pit looked like on presentation: it was red and painful. On the right, after 2 weeks of antibiotics and special soap (chlorhexidine), the patient reported a sufficiently reduced level of discomfort. The pateint was happy and did not wish to pursue a more aggressive treatment like adalimumab.