Searching for Answers: Hidradenitis Suppurativa Tunneling

Hidradenitis Suppurativa Tunneling

What Does Hidradenitis Suppurativa Look Like

Hidradenitis suppurativa looks like many other skin conditions and is often misdiagnosed for the same reason. People with HS as well as medical professionals often mistake hidradenitis suppurativa for other conditions such as: pimples, acne, sebaceous cysts, herpes, folliculitis, and many others. Imagine the above conditions to the extreme—that’s the beginning of HS. With active HS, the inflammatory response goes absolutely haywire, produces excess white blood cells to handle a perceived threat, then needs to ditch those extra white blood cells somehow once they’re dead. Thus hidradenitis suppurativa tunneling.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa Tunnels

“Straw under my skin”

This is what I searched for on the internet that eventually led to me reading about hidradenitis suppurativa and bringing it up to my dermatologist.

Not a normal drinking straw, but somewhere sort of half-way between a drinking straw and a coffee straw. It was like a tail that was connecting to the boil on my inner thigh, then going deep into the meat of my leg.

The straw, or ‘tunnel’ seemed to be feeding the lesion.

The sinus tract, or hidradenitis suppurativa tunnels, form and move the inflammatory system’s byproduct (pus) toward the skin’s surface, where the exit is through what most of us with HS call boils, cysts, lesions, etc.. Inflammation is a lot like water or electricity in this case, it takes the path of least resistance. An exit path is established, through a tunnel, and out of an open lesion. Once this happens, it’s difficult to reverse the process (heal) because the tunnel and lesion become like a well-traveled road.

This is why once an HS lesion opens, it often doesn’t heal. In some cases, a lesion may stick around for years and repeat the same cycle over and over again: heal, re-open, drain, and on and on and on. Unfortunately, when the body has created this useful and well-known exit super-highway—the hidradenitis suppurativa tunnel—it sticks to what it knows. HS tunnels can also connect multiple lesions, or something as small and seemingly non-problematic as blackheads too. Here are some images of what HS looks like in real life.

How to Treat Hidradenitis Suppurativa Naturally

Here’s a super-simple breakdown of the Win Against HS philosophy:

  • Heart. Focus on what’s going on inside. Many women think that because friends tell them they handle stress well, that it’s not going to ruin their physical health. Wrong! It pays to evaluate where we are emotionally.
  • Body. Diet isn’t everything, but it is important! So is staying physically active, getting enough sleep, and getting some rays. The word appropriate is key here. There’s a fine line between appropriate and obsessive diets, workout routines, etc.
  • Mind. My suggestion is to use our minds as a lever to really catapult ourselves into a new space by analyzing old habits and implementing new ones. Specifically, focus on habits that impact inflammation. Once we’re able to improve symptoms, then it’s on to bigger and better things… things that don’t even seem within reach with active HS flares.

It’s helpful to keep in mind that hope is real. There’s no cure for HS, but when we fight inflammation from many different angles, we have a chance to overcome it and move the needle from active flares toward remission. Making the moves it requires can be a bit uncomfortable at times. We need to get really vulnerable. Not necessarily with others, or in public, but with ourselves! I’m not saying remission is easy, I’m saying it’s possible, and that is something worth hoping for!

If that sounds like a winning strategy, check out the Philosophy Freebie below for more details (it’ll give you an outline of how to go through each area listed above with a repeatable process that will produce results!).

Mission: Remission

Living with Hidradenitis Suppurativa isn’t easy, but even though there’s no cure, remission is possible. It’s not easy. It takes work. But if I can do it, you can do it!

This freebie outlines exactly how to go about getting truly healthy—heart, body, and mind.

Because remission looks a lot like good, overall health!

Healthy Holidays Challenge

Life with HS is rough. The holiday season can be stressful, and stress may lead to more HS symptoms. Now is about the time some crazy-organized people start shopping for gifts for friends and family. My suggestion is, why not focus in on something totally different?

What if instead of waiting until January to get healthy, you start right now!?

Why put good health off till January? Don’t you want to look and feel great in your holiday photos? Let’s focus on health now so you can look back at this year’s holiday pics and feel a sense of accomplishment! You’ll also be better positioned to welcome in the new year with some pre-fab healthy habits! In late October, keep an eye out for the Healthy Holidays Challenge! Sign up for the HS Heart newsletter below to get more info over the coming weeks—more details to follow!

HS Heart Newsletter Sign Up

Like a heart-to-heart between friends. 

It’s important to me to get the word out (about overcoming HS) to as many people as possible.  I want to share what Win Against HS is up to, and get your feedback on whether or not recent content is helpful. 

I’d love to connect with you, heart-to-heart, and have you be a part of what’s happening here. Here’s to helping you create a life with less HS!

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