11 Frequently asked questions about hidradenitis suppurativa
An important aspect in the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is to know the best about the disease. Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions about HS.
1 - Is suppurative hidradenitis contagious?
No, HS is not contagious. Although it affects the skin, hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic inflammatory disease, which means that it is associated with irregularities in the body's own immune system. (1,2)
2 - Is there a cure for hidradenitis suppurativa?
Although there is no cure for the disease, not all cases are progressive (ie, there may be no worsening of the disease over time) . However, given its recurrent nature, it is critical to seek out a medical specialist to have proper treatment of the disease. (3,4)
3 - What is the incidence of different degrees of suppurative hidradenitis in patients?
Suppurative hidradenitis can manifest itself in a variety of ways, which vary from person to person. Severity is determined by the degree to which the lesions progress to abscesses, sinus tracts (pathways that form from the base of the wound), and scars. Most patients have mild or moderate HS. Recent studies report that 4 to 22% of patients have grade III of the disease, which is the most serious. (5)
4 - Quit smoking cures hidradenitis suppurativa?
To date there is no cure for hidradenitis suppurativa. Medical studies have concluded that HS is more frequent in smokers and that tobacco appears to initiate or aggravate the disease. However, there is evidence that stopping smoking may contribute to a reduction in the symptoms of the disease. (5)
5 - Is there any relationship between cancer and suppurative hidradenitis?
Studies suggest that HS patients are 50% more likely to develop cancer compared to the general population, with the risk is higher for skin, mouth and liver cancers. (5)
6 - Does weight loss help reduce the number of outbreaks of suppurative hidradenitis?
Studies show that suprativa hidradenitis is associated with being overweight and that the severity of the disease increases proportionately to the degree of obesity. (5)
In the case of obesity, weight loss can help improve overall health - discuss possible options with your doctor.
7 - Is suppurative hidradenitis genetic? Did I inherit my parents' illness or can I pass it on to my children?
Studies have revealed that there is a genetic predisposition to hidradenitis suppurativa. Effectively, one-third of patients have a family history of the disease. (5)
8 - Can I practice swimming and other sports if I have suppurative hidradenitis?
Each person with HS will have their own experience with the disease and, consequently, may participate in different types of physical activity. Patients should talk to their doctor if they have questions about the type of activities they can perform.
9 - Is suppository hidradenitis diagnosable with a blood test?
No, there is no blood test the diagnosis of suppurative hidradenitis.
10 - Is it possible to do something to alleviate the unpleasant odor caused by boils and abscesses caused by hidradenitis suppurativa?
The application of local antiseptics can reduce the odor from lesions caused by HS. Discuss the options available with a medical specialist.
11 - What should I wear to help control suppurative hidradenitis?
Clothing alone, may not help control HS. However, patients should discuss with their physician what the best clothing options are, based on the location and severity of the injury. Usually, it is preferable to use cotton and wide clothing, rather than synthetic fabrics, wool or tight clothing, as they will not ventilate or rub the skin.
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