Hidradenitis suppurativa or HS is a medical condition that is characterized by the development of pimple-like bumps on the skin. It commonly grows on the underarms and the groin. The appearance of the bumps resembles pimples, cysts with blackheads, folliculitis or boils. If left untreated, the bumps will grow deep into the skin and become painful. It can also rupture; oozing foul odor, bloodstained pus onto clothing. However, with early diagnosis and treatment, it can greatly prevent HS from getting worse.
HS can be a lifetime condition. It will affect a person’s emotional health as well.
Though there is no specific cause of HS, doctors believed that this skin problem starts when sweat glands get blocked. Symptoms will start to appear in your early teens and more common to develop in women than men. People who are overweight and also smoke may also get HS. The condition can also be inherited, and chances are high if you are prone to have acne.
The very first sign of hidradenitis suppurativa is when the individual develops a single, bump that is usually painful which will become inflamed. The bump can last for many days and sometimes can last for months. Repeated outbreaks of a single bump in the same location or another area are also common.
The bumps can become:
- Have a foul odor
- Can have more than one bumps
Over time, if left untreated, the bump can grow deep into the skin and when they heal will cause scars. In some cases, a tunnel can form under the skin which connects different areas of hidradenitis suppurativa. These tunnels are called sinus tracts.
Treatments will be trial and error at first. You and your doctor will find the one that works best for you. In addition, the following may be provided for you to ease the symptoms and relieved pain.
- A warm compress can be applied if the case is mild.
- Medications for pain such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are over the counter that can ease the pain caused by the inflamed bumps.
- Antibiotics, which need to be prescribed by a doctor, are used to fight infections.
- Lifestyle changes may also help in preventing HS.
If you think you are suffering from Hidradenitis Suppurativa you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Hidradenitis Suppurativa as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).