What is Hydradenitis Suppurativa?
Hydradenitis suppurativa is a chronic inflammatory condition of the sweat glands (called as apocrine or sebaceous glands) and hair follicles. The apocrine glands are found in the axillae (arm pits), areola surrounding the nipples and anal canal. They open into the hair follicles. This may present as a group of boils or abscesses.
It is also found in areas of skin, which come in contact with each other like the sub mammary folds under the breasts and inner thighs.
There is long-term skin inflammation and it can be extremely painful.
How is the presentation of Hydradenitis Suppurativa?
The patient of Hyradenitis would present at any stage.
- Stage 1: In this stage there is development of multiple areas of inflammation and pus but there is no development of sinus tracts or scar formations. Here the patient presents with blackheads, red, painful bumps that feel like hardened lumps under the skin. These are the abscesses. Gradually these abscesses become bigger, break open and there are leakage of pus from the tracts.
- Stage 2: There is formation of pus in multiple areas, which can spread to other areas and form tunnels under the skin between the abscesses.
- Stage 3: Along with pus formation and tunnel formations in multiple areas, scarring takes place.
How is the condition diagnosed?
Usually Hidradenitis suppurativa is diagnosed at later stages. In its early stages it might get mistaken for boils, carbuncles and other skin infections because the presentation is similar. It is very painful condition and can cause disability. However, it is rarely fatal unless the patient is immuno-compromised and if it has other generalized (systemic) infection.
What is the cause and maintaining factors of Hydradenitis suppurativa?
The exact cause of hydradenitis is unknown. Certain conditions that do not directly cause Hydradenitis suppurativa but can worsen it are obesity, stress, onset of menstrual periods, extreme heat, extreme perspiration etc.
Who are affected?
It is more common in women as compared to men, African-Americans and people who have had acne in the past. It usually starts after teenage and post puberty in females.
What is the Treatment for Hidradenitis suppurativa?
In conventional medicine, symptomatic relief is achieved with the help of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory preparations. This will kill the bacteria for the time being but will not reduce the tendency for acne.
The intense pain can be reduced by wearing loose fitting clothes, which will prevent friction.
Since obesity can worsen the acne problem, losing weight can help especially in the areas where there is skin-to-skin contact.
In the last stage, it may be necessary to perform surgical procedures to drain the infected areas or to remove the scarred tissue, but the surgical procedure should not be undergone unless absolutely necessary.
The aim of treatment is to reduce the extent and progression of the disease to bring the patient back to a milder stage.
Homeopathic medicines will enhance the self-healing potential of the individual and help in the healing of the ulcers and sinus tracts, treat the existing lesions and reduce the pain to a marked degree. After all this condition has chronic inflammation, which needs to be addressed by anti-inflammatory homeopathic medicines.
Homeopathic treatment entails of doing the complete case study of the individual and asking him various questions in relation to his disease and in relation to the various aspects of his life. After careful study a homeopathic medicine is selected.
Usually skin diseases are an external manifestation of internal stresses and emotions and homeopathic case taking is able to address these stresses which most of the times are responsible for the continuation and act as trigger factors for any skin disease.
Bellis perennis, Belladonna, Hepar sulphuricum., Arnica montana, Silicea, Apis mellifica, Hecla lava, Arsenic album, Phytolacca and Lachesis are some of the common homeopathic remedies that can be useful, but the remedy is given only after careful case taking.
Length of duration of treatment
It would depend on various factors
- Duration Of Suffering
- Areas Affected
- Extent Of Spread
- Previous Medications
One may expect a definite change in about three to five months, depending on the extent and severity in his particular case. The total length of medication may be anything between six months to two years or longer.
Why Homeopathic Treatment For Hydradenitis Suppurativa
The aim of the treatment is to slow down the process of the condition, its extent and severity. The pain can be controlled and reduced.
Homeopathic medicines enhance the self-healing potential of the individual and help in the healing of the ulcers and sinus tracts, treat the existing lesions and reduce the pain to a marked degree.
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