Hidradenitis Suppurativa - Symptoms & Treatment
Hidradenitis Suppurativa is more common in women, and seems to be effected by the hormones, although no exact pattern has emerged. The condition most commonly occurs between 20-40 years and coincides with the post-pubertal increase in androgen levels. Women are affected by hidradenitis suppurativa three times as often as men; the reason for this is unknown. Often, patients with hidradenitis suppurativa also are afflicted with acne, pilonidal cysts, and chronic scalp folliculitis; thus, giving rise to the term follicular occlusion tetrad. HS is often called an 'orphan illness', due to little research being conducted on the disease at this time. Pain is a common symptom in chronic disease. Over time, fibers of scar tissue branch out, creating restrictive, tight skin. HS sufferers may go through severe bouts of depression, avoid public and inter-personal contact, become sedentary and often overweight. Hidradenitis suppurativa tends to start after puberty, persist for years and worsen over time. There is no cure for hidradenitis suppurativa.
Causes of Hidradenitis Suppurativa
The most causes of Hidradenitis Suppurativa are folowwing :
- For unknown reasons, people with hidradenitis develop plugging or clogging of their apocrine glands. This leads to bacterial infection which can produce pain and odor.
- Hidradenitis is made worse by being overweight, however this condition is not caused by obesity.
- Hidradenitis is more common in people who have had acne.
- Hidradenitis may become worse under stress.
- Hidradenitis is not caused by poor hygiene.
- A genetic predisposition to hidradenitis suppurativa likely exists, with one study noting that 38% of patients had a relative with hidradenitis.
- Excessive perspiration, often observed in athletes and the obese, may contribute to clogging of the apocrine glands.
- Disease activity may be related to stress and to cigarette smoking.
- Hidradenitis may be observed as a primary condition without any obvious cause.
Treatment of Hidradenitis Suppurativa
There are many treatment of Hidradenitis Suppurativa, some methods are :
- Topical antibiotics (applied to the skin) are the treatment of choice. Systemic ( by mouth) antibiotics are at times necessary when the condition is flaring or when a patient has a severe case.
- Tight-fitting clothing is to be strictly avoided.
- Dirt does not cause hidradenitis. The involved areas should be cleaned daily using an antibacterial soap, such as the liquid form of Lever 2000. Some patients have found that the liquid form of Lever 2000, applied to the involved areas as a lotion after bathing, can help reduce the odor associated with this condition.
- There is no medical cure for hidradenitis. Hidradenitis can be controlled, but not cured. Sometimes surgery is required to drain infected areas or to remove scarred tissue or even large areas of skin.
- Weight loss will improve but not cure hidradenitis