In one for the surveys recently conducted, some interesting facts about Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) got revealed. More than 1% of people all over the world is either suffering from this disease or previously suffered from this disease. To be frank, our ancestors also suffered from this disease and various clutters and literatures referred this disease with various names. This disease is not confined to any one part of the world and is spread across almost all countries in the world. Terms like “Acne Inversa” is more popular than HS and other names like Velpeau’s disease are confined to some specific regions or places.
This disease can be categorized into three stages:
1st Stage: In this stage, small blackheads will be present. Most of the times double-barrel pattern is observed which is not seen in other skin infections.
2nd Stage: In this stage, red lumps will be there. Pain will start in the initial stages and the pain becomes unbearable at the end of this stage. These lumps grow to peanut size and tunnels will be formed under the skin connecting the lumps. Pus is formed in the initial days and the peanut like structures broke out and bad odor comes from the infected region.
3rd Stage: This is considered as the severe and is observed if the patients neglect treatment for long time. Itching sensation and burning sensation will be there in the infected region and people even suffer to wear clothes also. The bad odor may result in social isolation in this stage and swelling can be seen in body parts like arms, legs and in the regions near to the infected area. It is hard to heal the disease in this stage and it may take even years to completely heal this disease without surgery. In most of the case, HS is observed in one or more body parts.
Some popular treatment methods:
Even experienced doctors face difficulties in correctly diagnosing this disease and some of the popular treatments that are used to heal this disease completely.
- Antibiotics: Most of the doctors prescribe antibiotics to improve the immunity levels of the patient. Though there is no direct relationship between usage of antibiotics and treatment of HS, doctor recommend this as antibiotics help in further out breaks of this disease and also helps in quick healing.
- Corticosteroids: Some steroids can also be helpful in preventing this disease. Injections containing steroids are injected in the infected regions and they are also helpful in reducing the burning sensation. One must note here that some steroids can lead to disastrous effects if taken for long time. Prednisone is one such oral steroid, which is used in treatment of HS but causes problems like osteoporosis.
- TNF – Alpha inhibitors: Remicade and Humira are very much popular in the treatment of HS but one need to be careful while using these medicines. They can lead to heart related problems and cancers which are more serious when compared to this disease. One must reveal all your health problems to your doctor before using these medicines and must use these medicines only if your doctor recommends the same. Taking these medicines without proper doctor’s guidance can have disastrous consequences and even lead to death also.
Apart from these methods, some surgical procedures are also performed.
- Incision and drainage: This surgical procedure is recommended only if your infection is not responding to any medications. This is also preferred if the patient is suffering seriously suffering from the HS infection and wanting quick relief. This is preferred by doctors when the infected area is very small and is not at all suitable if the infected area is large.
- De-roofing: This surgery is preferred if the lumps are interconnected under the skin. Popular as uncovering the tunnels in the medical terminology, surgeon removes the infected skin and interconnected tunnels. Reoccurrence rate is low when compared to the above but still there are chances for reoccurrence.
- Surgical removal: Popular as CO2 surgical removal in medical terminology, this is very effective of all the treatment procedures and is preferred only when the patients are suffering from this disease severely. In this procedure, whole infected area is removed and the chances of reoccurrence is also very less.
- Naturopath: This is the costliest medical procedure of all the treatments available for HS and is available in limited hospitals only.
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The best thing about this disease is it is not contagious i.e. it won’t spread from one person to other but the smell coming from the suffering person is really bad and causes social problems. This even affects the personal as well as professional life alike. If you follow the above procedures, the treatment can cost you more and may even last for months to years. So users are preferring natural methods which are cost effective and are quick in healing.
Lose weight: HS infection is more in case of obese persons. In case of obese persons, there are more chances of skin of one area rubbing with other. Even doctors recommended reducing the weight of the patients who are suffering from HS. In case of obese persons, even inner thigh regions are also prone to this disease and this diseases is commonly observed in the under arms region also. Increased friction results in increased irritation and they are more chances of bacterial infection when compared to others.
Women: Women need to be very careful as there are more chances of this disease in case of women when compared to men. Under breast region is more prone to this disease and lactating mothers are more prone to this disease. Skin folds causes this disease and it is better not to wear tight bras and synthetic clothes as they may cause more irritation and helps in getting the infecting further.
Counseling: Counseling is must as the patients face social problems apart from the physical pain. Social isolation is one of the more important forms of treatment and peaceful and noise free environment is must to cure this disease further. Professional counselors help is must to heal the wounds further. Embarrass and anxiousness is common and professional counselors can reduce these two feelings and help in quick recovery.
To reduce the swelling and allergy, it is better to avoid processed foods and fast foods as they increase the itching sensation further. Online support groups and forums are also formed to help the patients and joining in them can also give moral boost for the patients. Dedicated coping strategies are also developed for HS patients and they help immensely in the overall recovery of the patients.
Some cultures still use herbal or natural methods to treat this disease and they are found to be effective in most of the cases. The number of patients opting for natural treatment is very high as the chance of reoccurrence is very high in case of normal medical treatment. Oral creams and pills are given for the patients along with counseling in case of natural treatment and most of the patients revealed that natural or herbal treating methods are more effective and quick in treating the disease. The positive mouth talk forced several patients to opt for this method and the number of HS patients opting for this type of treatment is increasing rapidly.
Even patients who are suffering from lot of pain can also opt for this treatment. This is very effective to reduce the pus and the disease symptoms reduce quickly when compared to others. Herbal medicines can also help in improving the condition of overall health as they are 100% natural and this type of treatment won’t create for any other side effects which are not the case with the above mentioned methods. Natural methods are used to treat other disorders and they even give behavioral suggestions to your friends and family members so that they can behave properly with you.
Some important changes in the lifestyle:
- Using warm compressors daily can reduce the itching sensation and treats the burning sensation. Keep the compressor warm and if you won’t keep it warm there are more chances of increasing the burning sensation.
- Always keep the infected area clean and hygienic. Using the anti-allergic and anti-bacterial soaps can help in reducing the infection and at the same time they also help in killing the bacteria and virus that are present there. If any bacteria or virus is present, HS will take more time in healing and can complicate the infection further.
- You need to change the clothing pattern also. For some reason, this disease is more common in youths who prefer tight clothes. Wearing tight clothes irritates the skin in the infected area and also spread the disease further. Those who habit of wearing tight clothes need to change their fashion at least in during the treatment period. Preferring loose clothes and loose underwear can help you in healing the disease quicker.