Journeying Through Hidradenitis Suppurativa Stage 2: A Comprehensive Insight

In the world of dermatological conditions, Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS), or acne inversa as its commonly known, often remains misunderstood and largely under-discussed. Although it’s estimated to affect up to 4% of the global population, HS is nonetheless considered a rare disease, marked by a profound impact on an individual’s quality of life. This article focuses on the symptoms and management of Hidradenitis Suppurativa stage 2.

What’s Hidradenitis Suppurativa Stage 2?

HS has a peculiar and often distressing three-stage progression, so its complexity is undeniable. The journey from the initial emergence of painful, isolated lesions in Stage 1 to the extensive interconnected abscesses and inflammation in Stage 3 can be harrowing for those affected.

At the crux of this journey lies Hidradenitis Suppurativa stage 2, a critical transition stage that presents its unique set of challenges. Characterized by recurring abscesses that reform over previously healed wounds, stage 2 paints a picture of persisting discomfort and distress. These abscesses, each a pus-filled lump, gradually leave behind their mark in the form of lasting scars and subcutaneous tunnel formations known as sinus tracts.

It’s crucial to mention that Hidradenitis Suppurativa stage 2 affects approximately 28% of people battling with HS. During this phase, the abscesses that had previously healed may reappear in the same areas or new skin areas. They will leave behind scars, forming scar tissue under your skin. This can lead to sinus tracts.

a diagram illustrating the various stages of hidradenitis suppurativa, a skin problem.
Journeying through hidradenitis suppurativa stage 2: a comprehensive insight

Hidradenitis Suppurativa stage 2 affects various skin areas, including;

  • Groin
  • Armpits
  • Genital area
  • Buttocks
  • The area under your breast
  • Perennial area – around your anus

Stage 2 of HS can also affect your neck, abdominal folds, face, and the area behind your neck. While the exact cause of HS is poorly understood, medical researchers have established various risk factors associated with Hidradenitis Suppurativa development. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Tobacco smoking
  • Having a family history of this skin condition
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Some co-occurring diseases include metabolic syndrome, severe acne, diabetes, and more.

Keep in mind that HS is transmitted sexually or caused by poor hygiene. Also, it’s not contagious. If you have symptoms of this skin condition, it’s in your best interest to consult with an HS specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

Stage 2 HS Symptoms

HS is a condition defined by its stages, each presenting unique symptoms. Stage 2 HS lesions may appear in new skin areas or reappear near the original ones, typically occurring in areas where the skin rubs together. These lesions can also appear in regions dense with apocrine sweat glands, such as the armpits, groin, buttocks, and breasts.

close up of a person's chest with scars from hidradenitis suppurativa stage 2.
Journeying through hidradenitis suppurativa stage 2: a comprehensive insight

Unlike the relatively mild and isolated lesions of Stage 1, Stage 2 lesions are spread apart and appear as large, inflamed lumps or abscesses filled with pus and fluid. These lesions may rupture, releasing a strong-smelling discharge. Over time, the draining sinus tracts and scar tissue may form on the affected skin area.

The symptoms of Stage 2 HS are considerably more painful and noticeable than those of Stage 1. Abscesses may recur two to three times every six months. This contributes to a cycle of discomfort and healing. The most common symptoms of Hidradenitis Suppurativa stage 2 include:

  • Single or multiple recurring painful lesions filled with fluid or pus (and abscess formation)
  • Moderate discomfort, burning, or itching on the affected skin area.
  • Formation of draining sinus tracts under the skin.
  • Sinus tract formation (sometimes interconnected sinus tracts)
  • Psychological effects such as anxiety or depression due to the discomfort and appearance of the lesions.

It’s crucial to note that Hidradenitis Suppurativa stage 2 symptoms vary from patient to patient. If left untreated, these symptoms can become severe and spread to even more areas of your skin, graduating to Hidradenitis Suppurativa stage 3.

Managing Stage 2 HS

Without timely and appropriate treatment, the symptoms of Stage 2 HS can intensify, covering larger skin areas and potentially progressing to Stage 3. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult your doctor if you begin experiencing recurrent abscesses, scarring, draining sinus tracts, or new symptoms.

This journey through Hidradenitis Suppurativa stage 2 is not one you need to walk alone. With the right medical advice, understanding, and self-care, managing these symptoms and maintaining a high quality of life is possible. As we continue to explore the world of Hidradenitis Suppurativa, remember that awareness and empathy are our most potent tools against this condition.