Overview Of The Risk Factors And Complications Of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic skin condition. It causes painful bumps to form under the skin. Thankfully, these bumps are small! However, the bumps often break. Tunnels also form under a patient's skin. Bumps appear in areas that see increased friction. Examples are the armpits, breasts, thighs, groin, and buttocks! Patients often deal with this condition for years. Their flare-ups also worsen the longer they have this condition!

Over-the-counter medicine for hidradenitis suppurativa is a common treatment. This typically includes pain medication! Topical creams for hidradenitis suppurativa need a prescription from a doctor. Many patients also choose to receive red light therapy for hidradenitis suppurativa! This is an effective treatment, as is laser hair removal. Both of these treatments provide effective hidradenitis suppurativa itch relief. This is a major part of all treatments! However, patients still need to understand the risk factors and complications of this condition. They all affect their treatment!

Age And Gender

An individual's age and gender are two significant risk factors for this condition! For instance, evidence indicates that women develop hidradenitis suppurativa more often than men. Researchers discovered this based on statistics of patients with this condition! It is also more common in individuals who are well into their adolescent years or finished with them. In fact, the highest risk age group is the one that includes individuals between eighteen and twenty-nine years old! However, it is essential to note that individuals who are younger or older still get this condition! Younger patients have a higher risk of future complications.

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Evidence shows that obesity increases an individual's risk of developing this condition. Individuals who are overweight also experience more severe symptoms than other patients. This is because the skin of obese individuals rubs together more. Their skin will also have folds in it! Overweight patients also have increased inflammation in their bodies.

Thankfully, losing excess weight lowers this risk factor. Patients will experience fewer flares as a result. These flares will also be less severe! Research has shown that patients need to lose ten percent of their body weight to see significant symptom improvement. One study showed a thirty-five percent reduction in patients who reported symptoms when they lost weight. Weight loss means less friction on the skin. It also lowers how much bacteria remain on the skin and grow.

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Family History

A family history of hidradenitis suppurativa increases an individual's risk of developing it themselves! Thirty to forty percent of patients have a family member with this disease as well. Certain researchers believe this percentage is higher due to many patients not seeking an official diagnosis. Misdiagnoses are also common! Most of the patients with a family history of this condition inherited it directly from their parents. When individuals know that someone in their family has this disease, they need to pay close attention to their skin! They must talk to a dermatologist about any abnormal symptoms.

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Infection Susceptibility

A major complication of this condition involves increased infection susceptibility. Patients will find that the affected parts of their skin will become infected more often. It will be much easier for this to happen here than with healthy skin! Increased infections are even more common when the lumps below a patient's skin burst. Patients are more likely to deal with an infection after a flare of their symptoms. However, infections do not cause flare-ups! Flares are the result of a blocked hair follicle, which triggers a secondary infection. It is worth noting that the bumps under the skin are inflamed follicles that are filled with pus.

Many patients have issues when the bumps are healing. These problems often trap bacteria and sweat between the bumps or below the skin! This is a major reason for infections and inflammation after a flare! Thankfully, infections are not usually life-threatening. They are, however, quite painful! They only become life-threatening if the patient has a compromised immune system.

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Obstructed Lymph Drainage

Individuals often experience obstructed lymph drainage as a complication of this condition. It is because many parts of the skin that experience flare-ups of this condition contain lymph nodes. Examples include the armpits and groin! Scarring interferes with natural drainage in these areas when it goes deep enough. The result is swollen arms, legs, and genitals. The fluid has nowhere to go!

Although this complication is common, it only happens after a flare-up. Lymph nodes are rarely swollen during one! However, it is also worth understanding that it is hard to separate infected bumps from swollen lymph nodes. They are hard to detect with an ultrasound as well!

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