Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is a painful chronic inflammatory disorder that causes nodules, abscesses and scarring on the skin.
Who can get Hidradenitis Suppurativa?
Anyone can have HS but it primarily affects people between the ages of 10 (or around puberty) and 50 years old. All genders can suffer from HS but it is more common in women than men. Similarly, people of any race or ethnic background can have HS but it is currently thought to be most common in Black women.
What are symptoms of Hidradenitis Suppurativa?
The most common symptom of HS is the signature nodules/abscesses/cysts that occur on the skin.
But HS symptoms also include:
- Systemic inflammation
- Fever and/or flu-like symptoms
- Foul smell
- Drainage and bleeding
- Sinus tracts or tunneling
- Limited mobility
- Mental health
What are common comorbidities for HS?
Comorbidity means more than one illness or disease one or often occurring at the same time as a primary condition.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Irritable Bowel Disease
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
What should I do if I think I have HS?
If you think you have HS, you should consult with your doctor. Your primary care physician, a dermatologist, or even a surgeon can diagnosis HS, if they are familiar with it.
If you are nervous, here are some tips:
- Remember, you are the expert when it comes to your body and health.
- Take images of HS from the internet to your appointment if you are concerned that your physician is not familiar with HS.
- Take images of your own HS if you do not have HS flares or inflammation all the time. Then your doctor will at least be able to see what the affected area looks like.
- Write down all your symptoms before your appointment so you can remember them.
- Write down your questions and concerns before you go to your appointment and bring it with you. If you are too nervous to bring them up, have the nurse show this list to the doctor before they start your appointment. You can even ask your nurse to make a copy and put it in your chart.
This is not a medical website and I am not a medical professional. If you think you have HS or another health concern, please consult with a medical professional before you make changes to your health routine.