Skin Condition HS: What You Should Know
HS Foundation is a Canadian foundation dedicated to helping dermatologists better manage Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS). This skin condition is a chronic, debilitating disease that can cause considerable pain and distress. Here, we discuss what HS looks like, possible causes, treatments, and home remedies, when to seek medical attention, and the resources on our website for dermatologists.
All About the Skin Condition HS
HS is an inflammatory disorder of the apocrine gland-bearing skin that typically develops in areas where skin rubs together, such as the armpits, groin and anal area. Symptoms include lumps or nodules beneath the surface of the skin that can grow and join up with each other. These nodules can become infected leading to fever, chills and exhaustion.
The exact cause of HS remains unknown but certain factors are thought to play a role, including heredity, hormones, and bacteria. In some cases, stress may be a factor leading to flare-ups in previously dormant lesions.
Treatment options vary depending on how severe symptoms are and may include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, or steroids, as well as surgery to remove affected tissue. Where possible, self-care measures such as keeping affected areas clean and dry or using warm compresses may provide relief from symptoms. Other self-care measures which may improve the condition long term include weight loss if necessary, stopping smoking, and reducing stress levels.
When considering treatment options, be sure to work with your doctor in deciding which approach is most suitable for you. It is important that any infection is treated promptly with antibiotics./for milder cases, it might be more successful to focus more on controlling flare-ups than tackling them aggressively every time they develop.
What Else You Should Know About the Skin Condition HS
In some cases, scarring and open wounds can result from HS and these can cause further physical and psychological distress due to associated pain and body image issues. In very rare cases, tissue damage associated with HS may even require the amputation of part of an affected limb.
Due to the skin-on-skin contact that occurs in the affected areas, it is important to take extra care when managing hygiene as this may help reduce the likelihood of infections and flare-ups. Care should also be taken around shaving as this can cause trauma to already irritated skin and should only be done when absolutely necessary - trimming is usually recommended instead.
Patients should keep a journal of their condition documenting any changes in symptoms or other relevant information that may be helpful for their doctor in order to work with them toward effective management strategies. As mentioned before stress management techniques such as yoga or meditation can help reduce flare-ups so these too should be considered if possible.
-HS is an inflammatory disorder affecting apocrine gland bearing skin which typically presents in areas where skin rubs together such as the armpit or groin area
-The exact cause of HS remains unknown but heredity, hormones and bacteria are thought to play a role
-Treatment options vary depending on severity - surgical removal of affected tissue may be necessary in severe cases while milder cases may benefit from self care measures such as keeping affected areas clean and dry
-HS Foundation provides many resources for dermatologists on its website
In conclusion, Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is a chronic disorder that can cause considerable distress due to physical discomfort as well as psychological damage caused by changes in body image associated with the condition. At HS Foundation we provide educational materials along with support services designed to help those working in dermatology better manage this challenging condition. Our website has many helpful resources so please do take advantage of them if you need support with dealing with this increasingly common but little understood disorder.