Hidradenitis Suppurativa Treatment in South Florida
What is hidradenitis suppurativa?
Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic skin inflammation marked by the presence of blackheads and one or more red, tender bumps (lesions). The lesions often enlarge, break open and drain pus. Scarring may result after several occurrences.
What causes hidradenitis suppurativa?
Hidradenitis suppurativa develops when the oil glands and hair follicle openings become blocked. When oils and other skin products become trapped, they push into surrounding tissue. Bacteria can then trigger infection and inflammation. It's not known why this occurs, but a number of factors including hormones, genetics, cigarette smoking and excess weight may all play a role. Hidradenitis suppurativa tends to start after puberty, persist for years and worsen over time. There is no cure for hidradenitis suppurativa, but early diagnosis and treatment can help manage the symptoms and prevent new lesions from developing.
What is the treatment for hidradenitis suppurativa?
Early treatment can help manage the symptoms and prevent new lesions from developing. Treatments depend on the extent of the affected areas and whether the sores are painful or infected. Mild cases can be treated with self-care measures, including warm compresses and regular washings with antibacterial soap. Moderate cases may require medications, such as those you rub on the affected areas (topical medications) or those you take by mouth (oral medications).
Possible medications include:
- Antibiotics to treat infection - Antibiotics taken for a long time early in the disease may prevent future outbreaks or prevent the disease from worsening.
- Oral retinoid medications - These medications can stop oil gland functions and prevent the plugging of the hair follicle.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - These drugs can help to reduce pain and swelling.
- Corticosteroids or immunosuppressant drugs - These drugs may also be prescribed when necessary.
For severe or persistent cases or for deep lesions, surgery may be necessary. Treatment options may involve:
- Incision and drainage - Surgical drainage or removal of the lesions may be an option when the disease involves a single, small area. However, this treatment won't prevent the disease from returning and is generally used for short-term relief.
- Uncovering the tunnels or tracts - Cutting away skin and flesh that cover any tunnels or tracts can increase healing of the lesions and minimize scarring. However, this doesn't prevent the disease from returning in the treated area or another area of the body.
- Surgical removal - Surgical treatment of recurrent or severe symptoms involves removal of all involved skin followed by direct closure with skin flaps or with skin grafting (removing skin from one area of your body and attaching it to another). Full surgical removal of the affected areas can treat the disease that is present, but doesn't prevent the disease from occurring in other areas.
If you believe you may have hidradenitis suppurativa or if you are looking for a dermatology practice that specializes in hidradenitis suppurativa treatment, please use the form on this page to schedule a consultation at Hollywood Dermatology or visit our contact page for information about our South Florida locations.