Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is a chronic skin condition that causes small, painful lumps under your skin. These lumps are most likely to develop where skin rubs together like your groin, between your buttocks, and underarms. Over time, the lumps may break open, creating unpleasant tunnels under your skin. While there are many people battling Hidradenitis Suppurativa in Canada, only a few know its symptoms of HS.
This skin condition affects between 1 percent and 4 percent of people in North America. It’s more commonly seen in females than males, typically starting at puberty (about 11 years) up to the age of 40 or higher. Hidradenitis Suppurativa is also common among overweight or obese people and chronic smokers.
Symptoms of Hidradenitis Suppurativa
If you have a skin condition, you may notice breakouts on your skin, such as boils or pimples. These breakouts often clear after a while. Later, new breakouts may develop in the same area. Here are the symptoms that people living with Hidradenitis Suppurativa in Canada experience.
1. An area of your skin feels uncomfortable
Before a lump develops under your skin, you may feel discomfort, like itching, skin burns, or sweating excessively. The same area may also swell before the lumps develop. Remember, HS often starts with a single painful lump, and it’s easy to dismiss the initial discomfort.
2. Tender, deep nodules develop
The first sign of Hidradenitis Suppurativa is often a painful spot like an acne cyst, boil, or deep pimple. This spot may appear on your groin area or armpit. Some people develop this tender, deep nodule develop on their inner thighs or buttocks.
3. The nodules grow and begin to join together
As the Hidradenitis Suppurativa progresses, you will likely see more lumps that look like boils or deep acne. These small lumps can grow and begin to join together. As these lumps grow together, they start to fill up with fluid (pus) and become painful – abscesses.
4. Large abscesses break open
As the painful abscess grows, it breaks open, spilling out pus and blood. This fouls smelling fluid can cause wet spots on your garments. Most people feel embarrassed by this odor, especially when abscesses are in the armpits and groin area.
5. Blackhead-like spots form
In the advanced stages, some patients develop small, black bumps that often look like blackheads. These spots are likely to appear in twos, but they are not the usual blackheads.
6. Abscesses heal slowly, and scars begin to form
The abscess will heal slowly or return. The repetitive healing and opening eventually create ‘tunnels’ beneath your skin, often known as sinus tracts. Permanent scars form when the abscess heals permanently. Some people have Hidradenitis Suppurativa wounds or scars on their skin all the time. Other individuals have permanent scars as a sign of Hidradenitis Suppurativa.
Scientific evidence suggests that treatment can prevent Hidradenitis Suppurativa from progressing. Without it, this skin condition can continue to heal and then reappear. Sometimes, it can worsen, from several acne-like breakouts to deeply scarred skin.
Causes of Hidradenitis Suppurativa in Canada
Doctors and other medical experts are not sure what causes Hidradenitis Suppurativa. This skin condition is not contagious, sexually transmitted, or associated with any type of infection or poor hygiene. In most cases, skin bumps associated with Hidradenitis Suppurativa often occur when hair follicles or sweat glands are clogged and inflamed due to the overgrowth of cells.
Family history is also reported in about one-third of people with hidradenitis Suppurativa, suggesting there’s a genetic link. Various studies have evaluated mutations in specific genes and established a connection to this skin condition.
Other potential triggers for mild or severe hidradenitis Suppurativa flare-ups include;
- An overactive immune system
- Smoking tobacco-related products
- Being overweight or obese
- Abnormal cell development in the sweat glands
- Skin friction
- Waxing or shaving the affected areas
- Change in hormones (women can get flare-ups during or before their menstrual periods)
Having an inflammatory disease of the immune system, particularly IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), can also trigger hidradenitis Suppurativa flare-ups. Note that consumption of refined carbohydrates or sugars, skim milk products, and various dietary choices can trigger flare-ups.
When to see your doctor
Generally, early diagnosis of Hidradenitis Suppurativa in Canada is crucial to getting effective treatment. Schedule an appointment with a doctor if your skin condition;
- It makes it difficult to move
- Is painful
- Does not improve in a few weeks
- Heals then return within days or weeks of treatment
- Flares often
- Appears in different locations
Hidradenitis Suppurativa is more than just a boil or acne breakouts. Therefore, people with this condition can benefit from a team of experienced medical and surgical dermatologists. So, schedule an appointment with us if you have any of the Hidradenitis Suppurativa symptoms mentioned above.
Although the exact cause of Hidradenitis Suppurativa in Canada is unknown, several theories exist about what may contribute to the development of this skin condition. It is thought that HS may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. If you think you may have HS, please see a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
- What’s Hidradenitis Suppurativa?
It is a chronic skin disease or condition that causes small, painful lumps under your skin. These lumps are most likely to develop where skin rubs together like your groin, between your buttocks, and underarms. Over time, the lumps may break open, creating unpleasant tunnels under your skin.
- What causes Hidradenitis Suppurativa in Canada?
Although the exact cause of HS is unknown, there are several theories about what may contribute to the development of this skin condition. Most doctors believe that Hidradenitis Suppurativa in Canada may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. If you think you may have HS, please see a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment for Hidradenitis Suppurativa in Canada.