We commonly refer to this condition as HS for ease of pronunciation. HS is a chronic, painful, cystic acne like condition that can affect the underarms, folds of the legs and groin, the skin under the breasts, between the fold of the buttocks, and on the back of the scalp. Overtime affected patients can develop blackheads, large painful boil-like cysts that can rupture and drain pus-like malodorous fluid. These skin changes can lead to significant scarring that greatly affects the patient’s quality of life due to pain and psychological distress. Why HS develops is largely unknown, but many factors seem to be at play including:
- Rapid weight gain
- Cigarette smoking, other autoinflammatory conditions such as irritable bowel disease, skin bacteria, and
- certain medications.
HS is commonly associated with significant psychological distress, anxiety, and depression. Some data shows that on average patients are not accurately diagnosed and therefore, able to receive treatment until 10-15 years after their symptoms begin. Speak to your doctor today about treatment options that may work for you or request a consult to a dermatologist.