What is Hidradenitis Suppurativa
And, “It is characterised by recurrent, painful, deep-seated, multiple skin nodules, most commonly located in the axillary, inguinal, perineal and perianal regions, the submammary and intermammary folds, and the buttocks. Complications include abscesses, sinus tracks, fistulae, and scarring. Diagnosis is often delayed for many years and misdiagnosis can result in ineffective and potentially harmful treatment.”
Hidradenitis Suppurativa Pictures
How Does Hidradenitis Suppurativa Start
Hidradenitis suppurativa is an autoinflammatory syndrome: meaning, for those of us with HS, the parts of our immune system that react to perceived dangers are overactive and prone to uncontrolled inflammation—if and when we’re subjected to specific triggers. Autoinflammatory syndromes are classified either as hereditary or not, and either monogenic or polygenic:
- Hereditary: passed on through familial genes.
- Monogenic: one specific gene is mutated and results in a syndrome.
- Polygenic: a syndrome is a result of multiple gene mutations.
Hidradenitis suppurativa is nonhereditary and polygenic. These classifications mean that:
- You did not get HS from your mother or father (this seems to go against a lot of anecdotal evidence, but it’s what the ‘data’ suggests. Perhaps a topic for a post in the future!), and that
- Approaching HS requires a multi-pronged approach because more than one trigger exists. This is exactly why the Win Against HS philosophy (summarized under the heading just below), is all about approaching HS remission from many different angles!
What Causes Hidradenitis Suppurativa to Flare Up
In the previous section, the phrase “specific triggers” is underlined. It’s this phrase that stood out to me when reviewing what causes HS as stated on the DermNet NZ site for autoinflammatory syndromes. The key take away is that no one knows what causes HS, but even more importantly, it’s clear many things contribute to it. What triggers each of us is likely very different from person to person.
What To Do for Hidradenitis Suppurativa Flare Up
Recognize and identify stress, then focus on getting it out of your life—like your life depends on it. Whether it’s an insane work load while you’re on the clock, a toxic relationship, or something else that won’t let you sleep at night, stress comes in many different forms. If you’re thinking, “I’m not stressed,” consider thinking again! You may be ‘stressed’ even if you don’t call it that. If there’s anything you’re not at peace with at the end of the day, start there.
Sleep: when we need to manufacture time because our days are too short, sleep is the resource we usually steal from. Don’t do it! Sleep is when we recover from the wear and tear of the day. Without it, or with too little of it, we take from our overall health and wellbeing.
Diet: in a way, we’re like machines, we need to have all-system-a-go to function properly. Imagine putting diesel fuel in your car’s gasoline engine. It’s not a good outcome! Check out last week’s post to learn more about diet and HS.
Rest: sleep is to the body what rest is to the mind. We all need down time. We’re not meant to be active 100% of the time—mentally, or physically. Take some me-time to pray or meditate in order to slow down your mind and recenter around what’s really important.
Mind: our brain is like a muscle, if we don’t use it, we lose it. Why not use our brains to trial and error new and different strategies in order to pin point what triggers and alleviates our hidradenitis suppurativa symptoms most? If that doesn’t sound appetizing at first, hopefully it tastes better over time, because it’s the only way to really beat HS.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa Caused by Stress
This article isn’t the only one to link stress to skin conditions, however the info presented in the article is one of the many reasons the focus of Win Against HS is on beating HS by addressing stress as a major contributing factor.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa Long Term
Winning against HS is a long term goal. It’s not something that’s achievable overnight, or even in a weekend. However, if you’re reading this, you’ve already taken the first step! In order to win against HS, it’s necessary to understand it first—as much as possible anyway. Understanding what the disease is all about gives us a place (or places) to focus in order to disrupt it and overcome eventually it.
Win Against HS is all about moving you toward hidradenitis suppurativa remission. Over the long term, my goal is to help you move away from painful symptoms, and closer to a life with less HS! The HS Heart newsletter will help you do it—with links to new posts delivered right to your inbox every other week. Check out the signup form below. Info in past and future blog posts will expand your understanding of this debilitating skin disease, and the link below will help you continue the journey you started here.
Always aim to learn more about HS—the more you learn, the more likely it becomes that you’ll begin to recognize ways you can overcome it.
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