The most important aspect of knowing the course of a disease is whether it is curable or not. Doctors around the world conducted researches and case studies to determine whether HS is a curable disease or not. Unfortunately, until this moment, there isn’t a cure that can prevent HS from relapsing. This is because we are still unaware of the actual cause that ignites the onset of this disease.
However, the good news is that scientists were able to understand the pathophysiology of the diseases by studying what exactly is going on in deep inside the body in the skin of HS patients. This discovery allowed the doctors to come up with symptomatic treatment and temporary cures. These treatments will not prevent HS from recurring or eliminate it. However, they will improve the quality of life of the patients and potential, slow down the progression of the disease.
Many people fail to realize that patient education is a form of treatment. That is because the patient’s mental health and psychological well being come into play. It gets affected by the patient’s condition. It is essential to tell the patient that HS is not contagious and that poor hygiene is not contributing factor. This will relieve some of the guilt and anxiousness associated with HS. A calm and reassured patient is a patient that will respond well to treatment.
Researchers found out that obesity is one of major the co-morbid factors of HS. Also, being obese increases the risk factor for aggravating HS. This is because the excess fat tissue in the body is pro-inflammatory and therefore worsens the HS symptoms and inflammation. Fat tissue releases one chemical, found in abundance in HS, called TNF alpha. Losing weight will tune down the inflammatory processes in the body.
Eliminating all the HS symptom triggers will act as a form of symptomatic treatment, smoke cessation and dietary changes are among others, discussed in detail here and here. Try to wear cotton clothes and use antiseptic solutions to wash sensitive areas to help control the symptoms. We have many harmless bacteria on our skin naturally. However, there could be some harmful bacteria that we are unaware of. That is why the use of antiseptic solution can help clean the area of possible bacteria that could complicate the condition.
Topical and Oral Anti-biotics
According to medical evidence, one of the first lines of treatment of mild HS is topical antibiotics, usually clindamycin. In more severe cases, doctors use oral systemic antibiotics, such as a combination of clindamycin and rifampicin. Tetracyclin didn’t prove to be very effective. While antibiotics can help fight secondary infections, excess use of antibiotics results in resistance, rendering it useless.
TNF Alpha Inhibitors
In severe cases, doctors found that adding TNF alpha inhibitors helped people the most. This is because one of the inflammatory chemicals found in abundance in HS is TNF alpha. The body releases it. Decreasing the amount of TNF in the body helps reduce the inflammatory reactions.
This is a vitamin A derivative. However, don’t take it without your doctor’s prescription. If you are planning to have a child soon, don’t take retinoids. According to evidence-based medicine, however, researchers found out that retinoids have helped many patients. For other patients, retinoids did not work really well. So the determining factor here is how well each patient responds to his tailored regimen.
Pain relief medication and anti-inflammatory drugs
The immense pain associated with HS and the continuous inflammation often necessitates seeking pain relief medication. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs in short and corticosteroids help relieve inflammation and thereby, reduce pain sensations. However, there are side effects to using NSAIDs, so it’s not advised to use anti-inflammatory drugs on the long run.
Similarly, surgery is one of the key treatments of HS. However, again, it is not a cure. Because having a surgery is not an easy option, therefore, it should only be in severe cases. Surgery has helped many patients extract damaged skin. Also, remove apocrine glands that give the origin of the disease and get rid of some boils. Consult with your doctor about the best kind of surgery for your case.
Each of these treatments is in the guidelines of treatment of HS. However, it is important to note that each patient reacts differently. That is why you need to report to your doctor if you are getting better or worse with this treatment. The important part is that you shouldn’t give up, trying a symptomatic treatment is better than nothing at all.
Therefore, my final words to you, consult your dermatologist and don’t give up. There might not be a permanent cure now, but scientists are working and researching. Perhaps the answer could come up very soon. Hang in there.