FAQ's

That painful lump you have could be Hidradenitis suppurativa Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic, recurrent, and painful disease in which there is inflammation in areas of the apocrine sweat glands. These glands are found mainly in the armpits and groins. There is a blockage of the hair follicles which cause boil-like lumps and scarring.

It is still not clear why some people get this disease, but blockage of the pilosebaceous orifice

plays a major part.

 

Other contributory factors include the following:

 

1. Hormonal: Hormones may be involved in the control of apocrine sweat glands and certainly play

a part in the disease. Hidradenitis suppurativa affects women more than men. It does not start before

puberty or after the menopause. It may get better during pregnancy but is often worse before

menstrual periods.

 

2.Hyperactive immunity - The immune system is involved in some way with the severity of

Hidradenitis and treatments that reduce the immune system activity have been helpful in occasional

cases.

There is seen in association with acne and pilonidal sinus (a chronic abscess at the base of the spine).

 

3. Smoking and obesity are strongly associated with this condition and may make it worse.

 

4. Poor hygiene does not cause hidradenitis suppurativa.

 

Hidradenitis suppurativa runs in the families of about one third of those with the condition.

No, it can’t be passed on to another person by contact.

Hidradenitis suppurativa is usually painful and often presents with painful lumps discharging

pus. The main areas affected are the armpits, and the skin of the groin, genital and pubic regions. In

the affected areas, the skin shows a variable mixture of blackheads, red lumps looking like boils,

pus spots, cysts, and areas that constantly leak pus (sinuses). As time goes by, more and more

scarring appears.

The diagnosis is mainly clinical. Your doctor may take swabs for pus culture from the area to

isolate the type of bacteria. The condition is often misdiagnosed initially as a boil, infection or

folliculitis; this can result in delayed treatment and progression of the disease with scarring.

No, it usually persists for many years, but can become inactive eventually. Treatment usually

helps even though it cannot switch the hidradenitis off once and for all.

Treatment is tailored for each individual. In general terms, early hidradenitis suppurativa is

usually treated medically, whereas more longstanding and severe hidradenitis suppurativa can

sometimes benefit from surgery as well, especially if there are only one or two areas affected.

Few precautions that can mitigate the suffering include

 

1. Avoid tight clothing especially the undergarments. Prefer cotton or linen as the fabric.

 

2. Stop smoking

 

3.Loss of weight and managing stress better.

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