Having to overcome not only the unbearable pain while the cysts form under the skin, the foul smell and leakage while they burst open but also the forever scarred skin and the marks it leaves behind, people with hidradenitis suffer in silence, without a definitive treatment for HS to date.
Not being able to sustain physical activity, having to miss out on school or work due to painful recurrence of bumps that start to drain, patients with HS are also facing the uncertainty of a proper diagnosis and are missing a permanent cure for this condition.
One study suggests that it usually takes 7 years on average for patients with hidradenitis to get a proper diagnosis, being referred to many different specialists, including general surgeons, dermatologists, infectious medicine specialists, immunologists, gastroenterologists, gynecologists, proctologists and urologists. This occurs mainly because lesions are most often considered to be common acne or abscesses requiring treatment with short courses of antibiotics and lancing, which is an ineffective form of therapy that must be strongly discouraged.
If you are suffering of hidradenitis suppurativa you may be overwhelmed with the cruel diagnosis: incurable chronic skin disease. Finding a proper treatment for HS has become nowadays a personal quest of the patient, a journey and a daily struggle to get informed, intervene at an early stage and joggle between traditional, alternative, herbal, surgical treatment options in a lengthy process of trial and error. What works for one person, may not work for you as the treatment for HS is very personal, depending on immune system condition, family history, hormonal changes and the individual response to medication.
The treatment for HS most commonly includes nowadays the following options:
1. Stage I localized hidradenitis suppurativa is usually managed with topical therapy, like topical administration of clindamycin, which was reported to reduce the number of abscesses and pustules during 3 month course of treatment for HS. Antiseptic and antimicrobial skin cleanser like Hibiclens are recommended and natural remedies like tea tree oil, aloe vera or lemon juice may reduce pain and swelling when applied locally.
2. When topical treatment is insufficient, oral antibiotics with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties are recommended, like clindamycin and rifampin. In women with hidradenitis suppurativa, hormonal medication like antiandrogens are sometimes efficient.
In severe cases of hidradenitis suppurativa, systemic immunosuppressive agents have been used and some reports have described rapid control of the disease in patients treated with cyclosporine.
3. In cases of individual scarred lesions or stage III disease, clinical experience suggests that surgical options offer the best chances for cure. Scarring is not amenable to medical treatment, so the presence of considerable scarring should be considered a relative indication for surgery. Surgery can be either limited or extensive. Limited surgical interventions include exteriorization of sinus tracts – the surgical removal of the “roof” of an abscess, cyst, or sinus tract, with the “floor” left intact for more rapid healing and localized excision. More extensive excision of all hair-bearing skin in the affected region (e.g., the axilla) is reportedly more effective, with less chance for relapsing. Postprocedure management may differ: open healing vs. primary closure or skin grafting with inconclusive evidence from statistical clinical studies to date as to which is the most effective option.
4. Carbon dioxide laser and radiation therapy has recently been adopted for use in the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa. However, the external-beam radiation therapy, is rarely used because of concern that the long-term risks may outweigh its benefits.
5. Alternative methods for the management of this chronic skin condition are adopted with positive results by for thousands of patients, although no clinical studies were conducted to date to support this evidence. Homeopathic remedies and cures administered during the course of several months under the supervision of a practitioner with ability to adjust the dosage and mix of medication according to patient’s response are reported to work. The adoption of an auto-immune Paleo diet with the general benefits of removing all known allergens and toxins, triggering healthy weight loss and body detox was also reported to send hidradenitis into remission. Fast Hidradenitis Suppurativa Cure – an e-book developed by Therese Wilson, a researcher suffering from this condition based on her own journey for healing, received positive feedback for pain relief and reducing the flare ups. Read more…