What is hidradenitis suppurativa?
HS is characterized by “boils” or inflamed and pus-filled nodules in crease areas of the body – under arms, beneath breasts, lower abdomen, groin, buttocks, or near the rectum. Lesions often start as a clustering of blackhead-like structures in a single pore (knowns as Hurley Stage I). HS progresses to Stage II with single or multiple painful abscesses that grow, then open and drain foul-smelling pus. At Stage III the affected area appears as one wound with tracts connecting abscesses.
These wounds usually heal on their own but tend to recur at the exact spot. Over time this can build thick scar tissue that inhibits normal movement, such as raising the arm. Meanwhile, the condition is uncomfortable and embarrassing.
- HS is NOT an infection of glandular structures. It is caused by irregular events within hair follicles which trap oil in pores, causing them to rupture. This irritates surrounding tissues, results in inflammation, and leads to the tunnels that connect abscesses.
- HS is NOT the result of poor personal hygiene. However, excess weight, heredity, and presence of other medical conditions may be factors.
- HS is NOT contagious, since it is not caused by infectious bacterial or viral agents.
Effective treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa in Westlake, OH
Dr. Hazen helped to pioneer laser therapy for HS. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis at Associates in Dermatology, with only local anesthetic needed. A carbon dioxide laser is used to remove sinus tracts and extensions in the affected area. Because these tunnels are not visible, they can easily be missed by other treatment approaches.
The condition resides in deeper layers of skin, so laser excision does not involve muscles. The surgical site typically heals within ten weeks, and recurrence in treated areas is rare. Multiple treatment sessions may be necessary for extensive HS.
This groundbreaking treatment is bringing new hope to those who live with HS. Call (440) 482-8323 to schedule a consultation at Associates in Dermatology.