Hidradenitis Suppurativa is a dermatologic medical condition of chronic nature. In this condition, there is an anomalous development under the skin. This structure is pea-size lumph. It is also referred as acne inversa which is deep set lump that often develops at the area where the skin rubs against each other. For example, such areas would be armpit, groin region, butt crevice and skin right under the breast. These lumps are often painful. These may also burst away and drain out discharge which may have foul smell. In some cases, there are tunnels found that may interconnect the lumps underneath the skin. Hidradenitis suppurativa often affects after puberty and may also persist for years. It aggravates over time and becomes worsen. Early diagnosis as well as treatment of the condition can help in dealing with symptoms and avoid new lesions from attacking.
Symptoms of Hidradenitis Suppurativa
Hidradenitis Suppurativa commonly occurs on the areas where hair follicles are present. The occurrence is common in the region where oil glands as well as sweat glands are found for example; armpits, groin, etc. Hidradenitis Suppurativa is also often found on regions where skin rubs against each other such as buttock, inner thigh, lower line of breast, etc. This skin irregularity may be either limited to one area or may also affect several regions on the body. Some of the common symptoms of this condition would include:
- Blackheads: This is a small pitted area on which blackhead appears. These occurrences are often paired or double-barreled.
- Reddish tender bumps: One of the common symptoms of the condition is occurrence of bumps. There may also be lesions sometimes. These may often enlarge, break and pus may drain out of the boil. The drained pus may have foul smell. Sometimes the affected individual may also suffer from excessive sweating, burning sensation and itching of the bumps.
- Pea sized painful lumps: In case of Hidradenitis Suppurativa there is often a pea-sized lump development. This lump develops under the skin and may remain for years. The lump may become enlarged and inflammation may be experienced.
- Leaking of bumps: If the skin area is open, then it may take long time for it to heal. The condition may also lead to scarring as well as tunnels may develop under the skin.
Hidradenitis suppurativa onsets after puberty and may persist over weeks or months. For some individuals, the disease can be consistently aggravating and affect several body areas, while other individuals may experience only mild symptoms. Certain factors such as too much weight, stress, hormonal changes, excessive heat, hyper perspiration, etc can also worsen the symptoms of the condition.
Causes of Hidradenitis suppurativa
There are not considerable studies performed on Hidradenitis Suppurativa. Since the condition is poorly studied, it is not certainly determined as to what causes the condition. There are various causes hypothesized but some experts disagree with them. Hidradenitis Suppurativa takes place when the apocrine glands become plugged. Lesions develop in areas of the body where numerous apocrine glands are present such as axial, perianal area, groin region, etc. Some of the factors that are thought to cause Hidradenitis Suppurativa include:
- Individuals in the post-pubescent period are more likely to have Hidradenitis Suppurativa
- Plugged or blocked sweat gland or hair follicle may also serve as a factor causing the condition
- Excessive sweating can be another trigger
- The condition may be linked with other auto-immune issues
- Dysfunction of androgen
- Genetic issues that change structure of cells
There are a number of factors that may trigger Hidradenitis Suppurativa. Some of these factors are:
- Tight clothes
- Side effect of drugs such as contraceptive pills, etc
- Hot and humid climate
Genetic predisposition is another possible cause of the condition. It is believed that sometimes autosomal dominant inheritance may lead to the issue. Sex hormones associated issues such as malfunction of androgen etc, can be involved in causing the condition.
Diagnosis can only be made through a certified doctor. The doctor may recognized the condition sometimes just by looking at it. However, a confirmed diagnosis can be done by sending a specimen of the affected skin area to the laboratory. This may include, sending sample pus or fluid, skin piece, etc.
There is no specific cure to deal with hidradenitis suppurativa. However, getting treatment early may help in dealing with the symptoms and prevent development of lesions. Medicines may be suggested by your doctor to suppress the condition and deal with the issue. Some of the medicines that are suggested in case of hidradenitis suppurativa include:
- Antibiotics: Using antibiotics in long run can help in preventing the aggravation of the disease and reduces the risk of outbreaks in future. Antibiotics can be suggested in oral form which should be administered through oral route or it may also be present in topical form.
- Corticosteroids: Inflammation can be reduced by directly injecting corticosteroid medicines into the tender nodules. Oral steroids like prednisone may be beneficial; however, long term use of this medicine can also lead to side effects.
- TNF Tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors: This category of medicine includes infliximab, adalimumab, etc, that are promising treatments for the condition. However, there is a risk of heart failure, infection and certain forms of cancers.
In some cases, an incision may be needed to drain away the accumulated pus. De-roofing may be performed to cut away interconnected tunnels underneath. The pea-sized lump may also be removed surgically. A certified doctor can help in getting appropriate treatment for hidradenitis suppurativa.