Hidradenitis suppurativa, also known as inverse acne, or "HS" for short, is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes red, swollen, painful. oozing bumps as well as scars in the folds of the body. These bumps can be extremely painful, smell very bad and drain pus or blood. They can last for weeks or months and keep coming back. Patient suffering from HS are embarrassed, worried and in pain most of the time, with problems in relationships or workplace, and overall lower quality of life.
What are the common locations of HS?
The red, swollen, painful bumps, that can drain pus or blood are usually found on:
● Axillary folds (armpits)
● Inframammary folds (under the breasts)
● Groin or groin folds
● Inner thighs
● Around or near the anus
How is HS treated?
HS can last a long time and worsen over time, resulting in scars and tunnels because of intense inflammation. Patients suffering from HS have a higher chance of getting other health problems too, such as diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance, PCOS, and heart disease. Your doctor can initiate evaluation and treatment if needed. Treatment can include:
● Antibiotic liquids or gels to apply on affected folds
● Antibacterial cleansers like benzoyl peroxides or chlorhexidine
● Oral antibiotics like doxycycline, clindamycin and rifampin
● Steroid injections directly into highly inflammed bumps
● Hormone contraceptive pills for women
● Humira or adalimumab
● Surgical excision of resistant bumps and tunnels
● Lifestyle changes: smoking cessation, diet low in glycemic index, daily showers and cleansing of affected folds, weight loss, increased exercise, and loose clothing instead of tight-fitting clothes.
HS is a chronic condition which requires patience, persistence and compliance with treatment regimen. Many specialists including endocrinologists, dermatologists and plastic surgeons will work together to get your condition under control.