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what you need to know about Hidradenitis

What is Hidradenitis?

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), also known as acne inversa, is a chronic skin condition that involves the inflammation of hair follicles and the surrounding skin. It primarily affects areas where skin rubs together, such as the armpits, groin, buttocks, and under the breasts. The exact cause of HS is not fully understood, but it is thought to involve a combination of genetic, immune system, and inflammatory factors.

It typically presents as painful, swollen, and often recurrent lumps or abscesses that can rupture and lead to the formation of tunnels under the skin (sinus tracts). These symptoms can significantly impact a person’s quality of life due to pain, discomfort, and potential scarring.


How is hidradenitis treated?

Treatment for hidradenitis suppurativa can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Here are some common approaches:

Lifestyle Modifications: Avoiding tight clothing, maintaining good hygiene, and losing weight (if overweight) can help manage the condition and prevent flare-ups.

Topical Treatments: Mild cases might be managed with topical treatments such as antibiotic creams or antiseptic washes to reduce bacterial colonization and inflammation.

Oral Antibiotics: Antibiotics like tetracycline, doxycycline, or clindamycin can help control bacterial infections and reduce inflammation. They are often used for moderate cases.

Intralesional Injections: Steroid injections into individual nodules can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Biologic Therapies: In more severe cases, biologic medications that target specific components of the immune system, such as TNF inhibitors, can be prescribed to reduce inflammation and prevent new lesions from forming.

Surgery: For advanced or unresponsive cases, surgical intervention might be necessary. Procedures can range from drainage of abscesses to removing affected skin and tissue (wide excision). In extreme cases, surgical management might include skin grafts or plastic surgery techniques.

Laser Therapy: Certain types of laser treatments, such as Nd:YAG or CO2 lasers, have been explored to improve symptoms and promote healing.

Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription pain medications might be recommended to manage discomfort.

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