Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic (long-lasting) skin disorder that is associated with relapsing acne- and boil-like conditions over armpits, butts, and other parts of the body that are prone to sweat. For a while, it disappears and then appears again. There is no cure for this relentlessly progressive condition, and it lasts for several years. However, treatments can help lessen its severity as well as control and lower the risk of flare-ups. Knowing about the condition can help lessen your anxiety and deal with the problem in a better way.
What is the treatment for hidradenitis suppurativa?
Hidradenitis affects people differently. Some affected people may get the relapses every year whereas some may get the relapses months apart. Dermatologists will take your complete medical history and evaluate your skin condition to offer the best treatment tailored to your needs.
Dermatologists plan treatments based on your concerns. These treatments aim at:
- Prevention of infections
- Healing of the wounds
- Minimizing the sweating
- Removal of hair
- Reducing the relapses
After the cysts or boil burst, you need to apply antibiotics, such as clindamycin or gentamicin creams, to prevent the infection. Your doctor may prescribe you a short course of antibiotics depending on its severity and extent.
The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved a highly potent medication known as adalimumab for patients older than 12 years. The treatment in the form of injections taken at intervals helps to reduce the frequency of flare-ups. However, this medication is reserved only for moderate to severe cases.
Other treatments include:
- In-office procedures
What are the self-care tips to follow for hidradenitis suppurativa?
A good treatment plan combined with self-care measures at home helps the people affected with hidradenitis suppurativa to improve their condition and lead a better life. They are:
- Keep weight under check. Obesity is one of the risk factors for hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). Studies report that people who shed the extra pounds managed to get rid of HS. Being overweight triggers inflammation, which can trigger HS along with other chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, as a result.
- Quit smoking. Research shows that most people with HS were smokers. Quitting smoking can help reduce the flare-ups and prevent the condition from worsening. If you are finding trouble in staying away from smoking, you can register yourself under the quit smoking program offered by the American Lung Association (ALA). It is one of the most successful de-addiction programs conducted so far to get rid of smoking addiction.
- Try home remedies. If you have got a painful bump, here is what you can do to soothe it and lessen the pain:
- Use a warm tea bag. Dip a tea bag in a hot water and let it sit in there for 1-2 minutes. Keep this tea bag on the bump for 10-15 minutes.
- Apply a warm compress. Dip a clean cotton cloth in warm water and wring out the excess water. Apply it on the bump for 10-15 minutes.
- Stay cool. Overheating and sweating can worsen the skin condition in HS. Try to stay away from hot places. Stay in cool places away from sunlight. Try a dermatologist-recommended antiperspirant.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes. Wearing clothes that fit tightly can not only make you sweat but can also press on the painful bumps and burst them. Wear loose-fitting clothes that minimize the rubbing of the cysts or lumps with the body.
- Join a support group. Like other conditions, there are online support groups for HS as well. Sharing one’s experiences and coping tips with others can help you give the strength and hope to deal with HS. Some people also see the severity of their HS lessening after joining a support group.
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Jovanovic M. Hidradenitis Suppurativa. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1073117-overview
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