Hidradenitis Suppurativa Symptoms- Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease that affects the sweat glands. It can cause severe pain, swelling, and lesions on the skin. The lesion often occurs in the armpits, groin, and under the breasts. HS is a relatively rare condition, impacting about 1% of the population. It can occur at any age but is most common in adults between the ages of 20 and 40.
The cause of HS skin disease is not known, but it is thought to be related to genetics and hormones. The disease is treated with a combination of medications and surgery. Some people find relief with lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and avoiding tight clothing. HS skin disease can be a debilitating disease, causing significant pain and disability. However, with treatment, most people are able to manage the condition and lead normal lives.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa Symptoms
The most common symptom of hidradenitis suppurativa is the development of painful, pus-filled lesions in the armpits, groin, and under the breasts. These lesions are called abscesses. They often occur in areas where there are a lot of sweat glands, such as the armpits and groin. The abscesses are usually red, swollen, and tender. They can also be itchy.
Other hidradenitis suppurativa symptoms include:
- Foul-smelling discharge from the abscesses
- Hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin)
- Anxiety or depression due to the appearance of the lesions
- Blackheads. Blackheads frequently appear in pairs.
- Painful pea-sized lumps. The condition typically begins with a painful lump under the skin that continues for weeks or months. More bumps usually form later, most often in areas where an individual has more sweat and oil glands or where the skin rubs together, such as the armpits, groin, buttocks, and breasts.
- Leaking bumps or sores. Some bumps or sores tend to grow in size, break open and drain pus with a foul smell
- Tunnels. Over the course of time, it’s possible for tunnels to form under the skin, connecting the lumps. These wounds heal very slowly, if at all, and drain blood and pus.
Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic condition, which means it can last for years.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa Causes and Risk Factors
The cause of hidradenitis suppurativa is not known. However, it is thought to be related to genetics and hormones. The disease is more common in women than men, and often occurs in people with a family history of the condition. Hidradenitis suppurativa is also more common in people who are overweight or obese.
There are a number of factors that may contribute to the development of hidradenitis suppurativa, including:
Hidradenitis Suppurativa Diagnosis
Hidradenitis suppurativa is typically diagnosed by a dermatologist, a doctor who specializes in the treatment of skin conditions. The dermatologist will take a medical history and perform a physical exam. They may also order tests, such as blood work or a biopsy, to rule out other conditions.
A biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue for examination under a microscope. Hidradenitis suppurativa can be diagnosed by examining a biopsy sample under a microscope. The sample will show inflammation and the presence of bacteria.
There is no definitive test for hidradenitis suppurativa, but most cases are diagnosed based on the symptoms and medical history. The dermatologist may also order tests, such as blood work or a biopsy, to rule out other conditions.
There is no cure for hidradenitis suppurativa. However, the condition can be managed with a combination of medications and surgery.
Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and avoiding tight clothing, may also help to relieve the symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa.
The goal of treatment is to control the symptoms and prevent the lesions from spreading. HS treatment options include:
- Medications, such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and hormones
With treatment, most people are able to manage the symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa and lead normal lives.