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Hidradenitis Suppurativa - Symptoms & Treatment


Hidradenitis Suppurativa is an uncommon inflammatory skin disease which affected an estimated 1% of the population. This condition is slightly more common in African-Americans and women. Hidradenitis usually starts as one or more red, tender, swellings in the groin or axilla. Over a period of hours to days the lesions enlarge and often open to the skin surface draining clear to yellow fluid. The involved area then heals with scarring. The condition usually continues for years with periods of flare and remission.

Symptoms of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Hidradenitis suppurativa usually develops in otherwise healthy people, but it has been associated with Crohn's disease in some individuals. It is a non-contagious skin disease that usually appears on the body in skin folds of the underarms, groin, or perianal area. Past medical research details a disease in which the time taken to diagnose is measured in year. .The following are thought to play a role in the development of hidradenitis suppurativa.

Genetics - frequently reported cases of hidradenitis suppurativa affecting multiple members of a family. Sex hormones - apocrine sweat glands are stimulated by androgen and suppressed by oestrogen (exact role these hormones play remains controversial). Endocrine factors - obesity, hirsutism and acne are common findings among women with hidradenitis suppurativa. Cigarette smoking - hidradenitis suppurativa appears to occur more frequently in smokers than non-smokers.

Causes of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

The most causes of Hidradenitis Suppurativa are as follows:

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.

Home Treatment and other treatment options for Hidradenitis Suppurativa

There are many treatment of Hidradenitis Suppurativa, some of them are as follows:

  • 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
  • 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.
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