Human body could easily be exposed to many diseases in several conditions. One of them is when the body itself is going through drastic hormonal and cellular change, such as puberty. Believe it or not, after somebody hit puberty stage, the list of illness is even longer, including hidradenitis suppurativa.
What Is Hidradenitis Suppurativa?
Basically, it refers to certain unappealing and uncomfortable skin condition that occurs in several places on the body. In most cases, it attacks the area where two or more skin surfaces rub each other. Some of them are armpits, groin, under the breast, inner thigh and buttocks. The patients who have overweight problem might also get it in neck or double chin area.
The patients might not know that hidradenitis suppurativa grows on their skin. In its early stage, it only appears as small lumps. As the time goes, it becomes painful and might break open, spreading bad odor on the skin. There are also cases of under kin tunnel, formed after the lumps break open. This condition could last long and needs professional help. If possible, as soon as the first lump shows up.
What Are The Symptoms?
Since skin has its protection system, any virus or bacteria as well as negative alteration happen or attack from the outside, they would be tackled through the procedure. Sometimes, the fight put up by the system is not enough. When this happen, there will be certain signs to warn the patients about the infection. For hidradenitis suppurative, the symptoms could be seen with bare eyes.
If the patients are not familiar with the terms, then refer to the black sandy-like material that usually found on the nose. The only difference is that it resembles small pits with blackhead on its outer surface. The symptom often gives double pits, or commonly known as “double pit”.
- Red and Tender Bumps
The lump found on the skin is not ordinary because it actually holds the dead white blood cell and bacteria inside. This lump may burst and leak the stinky and yellowish pus. From the outside, the skin will look red and the patients will feel tenderness while touching it. In addition, the symptom is often accompanied by unbearable itchiness and burn.
- Painful Lumps
There is one thing about hidradenitis suppurative: it might show up on the surface or buried inside the skin. For the latter case, the patients could feel hard lump under the skin, which won’t disappear within months or even years. At the initial stage, it is just as big as peas, but deliver shooting pain to the patients. When ignored, the lumps will get bigger and may be inflamed.
Once multiple bumps have formed, they might form a tunnel under the skin, which particularly happen after one or more bumps release the pus. How to know that the tunnel has formed? It could be seen from the healing period of the wounded skin. If it is slower than expected, then the tunnel is already there.
What Are The Causes?
For the first point, hidradenitis suppurativa has no relation to skin infection. The patients who are diagnosed with this condition also have no restriction regarding body contact, as it cannot be transmitted through skin touch or sexual intercourse. It is also wrong to interpret that this condition occurs as the result of poor hygiene.
The process of lump and bumps forming is under the skin. It all starts when the hair follicles are blocked and inflamed. There is no exact cause of this blockage and inflammation. However, several factors might trigger this condition. They are hormones, metabolic syndrome, smoking, obesity, irregular system response and also genetics.
Those who often exposed to the skin problem are usually women aged between 20 to 29. This case is rarely found on the teenagers who haven’t passed their puberty stage. However, several documents record the possibility of younger male and female to get affected, with wide range of complications risks. If compared, women are more likely to be the victims instead of men.
Even though hidradenitis suppurativa will not affect the family and people around the patients, this condition could be inherited to the children. Thus, if one of close family member has got affected, then the kids might also have hidradenitis suppurativa in their medical record. The possibility would rocket if the suspected patients are smokers.
Another cause of the occurrence of this illness is as the complication from the other health problems, for example those who have arthritis and severe acne. Some other samples include inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity.
When Should The Patients Go To See The Doctors?
As the first symptom of hidradenitis suppurativa is only lump, many patients miss the early sign. However, it is still important to decide when to see medical professionals. No matter how busy the patients are, it is better to take a short break and do the checkups. Particularly, when the lumps or bumps are painful. The deeper the location is, the more painful these lumps become.
After examining the condition, the doctors would give explanation of the illness and also giving some treatments. The medication should improve the condition and reduce the pain. If these points do not show after a few weeks, consult to the doctors again. The urgency to see the medical professionals are even higher when the lumps grow in several other spots.
Within the recovery period, the condition might seem to get better and leave no mark at all. In some cases, the lumps grow back when the medication stop. Seek for medical explanations from the experts. Keep in mind that the condition might reoccur. Don’t forget to mention the repeated occurrence when visiting the doctors.
Is There Any Natural Treatments?
First of all, having hidradenitis suppurativa on the skin is not comfortable for most patients. As mentioned previously, it will give burnt and painful sensation to the skin. Even after visiting the doctor, the medications given would only reduce these symptoms. To support the ease provided by the drugs, there are several things the patients could try.
- Keep the Area Dry
This might sound impossible, but nothing could be more soothing than having the affected area dry. Since the location of the painful skin is in folded area, repeat the drying effort as much as needed.
- Maintain High Level of Hygiene
Even when the patients are not doing anything, the pain could shoot up out of nowhere. Another thing the patients could try is maintaining proper health care to the affected area. To wash the area, use lukewarm water and antibacterial soap. It is suggested to do the cleaning process several times a day. Don’t forget to dry with soft towel. Instead of wiping the skin, do gentle taps. Then, spread a layer of antibiotic powder.
If the patients are used to take a bath once in every other day, try to change the habit. Showering should be done every day, at least once. If the skin problem occurs on inner thigh, don’t forget to change undergarment daily, too. In addition, the patients should have tissue in stock. It could be used to dry the affected skin area after using the bathroom. Using toilet towel would do, too, but bringing an extra is better.
Some people just cannot use or have problems with certain brand of deodorants. In this case, the patients with hidradenitis suppurativa diagnostic should not take a risk of further complication. During the recovery period, stay away from deodorant. For working patients, consult the doctors about the safe brand to use. Lastly, the patients must not involve in any kind of water sports, as any of them would add moisture.
- Apply Warm Compress
In many cases, the affected skin will be red, irritated and swelling. These explain why it is so painful to the patients. To help with this condition, the simplest remedy would be warm compress. The patients could make it anytime at home. There are two types of compress, the wet and dry one. For hidradenitis suppurativa natural treatment, it is suggested to make the dry one.
The first step is taking empty glass bottle. Prepare lukewarm water and pour it into the bottle. To avoid direct contact, don’t forget to wrap the bottle in a thin and dry towel. Place the wrap on the affected area for ten minutes. The patients should do it gently and repeat the process as much as needed.
It is important to keep the water temperature warm particularly for the bumps that have released the pus. Applying hot compress would increase the pain instead of easing it. The opposite rule applies for pregnant women, diabetic patients, and those who have poor blood circulation or high blood pressure. They should avoid using warm water and take hot water instead.
As much as the herbs are known for its medical benefits, turmeric is popular as nature’s strongest antibiotics. Therefore, it could help to fight the hidradenitis suppurativa. There are several ways to make the medication. The first option is making a paste by mixing a tablespoon of turmeric powder and several drops of olive or coconut oil. After 30 minutes of application, wash the paste. Do this step twice a week.
Another way is by making a herbal drink. In a small glass, put a tablespoon of turmeric powder, raw organic honey, and two tablespoon of raw apple cider. Mix them well in a lukewarm water. The patients should drink this two to three times a day.
- Tea Tree Oil
If turmeric is inconvenient for the patients, one more option is tea tree oil. Just like turmeric, it has antibiotic feature as well as antifungal agent. These duo are useful to combat the skin disease. Tea tree oil treatment targets those who have burst bumps. The oil would reduce the bacteria and prevent it to worsen the condition. In addition, the swelling would get smaller and the pain would gradually vanish.
When doing the shopping, ask for the diluted tea tree oil. The undiluted one might irritate the skin. Pair a few drops of tea tree oil with two tablespoon of olive or coconut oil. Then, apply the mixture to the affected area. After a quarter hour pass, wipe the oil using lukewarm water and dry the area using soft towel. Do this treatment in the morning and evening every day.
- Aloe Vera
The last option for hidradenitis suppurativa natural treatment is aloe vera. This is another plant with strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. Aloe vera could help with the swelling and pain, as the agent cut the growth of microorganism. For the patients with limited budget, this plant could be raised in a pot and usually available in many plant houses.
Keep in mind to use only fresh aloe vera. Cut it open and the patients would see gel dropping from the cut flesh. Extract this gel in a small cup, since the outer shell might rub the spot. Use this gel on the affected area. Make sure it covers all the swells and scars also. Gently, rub the gel for some time to allow the agent to absorb deep into the skin layers.
Instead of wiping the gel off, the patients should let it dry on its own. For best result, it is recommended to repeat the process two to three times in a day.
Change the Diet
After discussing about the external medication, the patients might want to know about the internal treatment. Several experienced patients share that changing their diet help to improve the skin condition and speed up the recovery. The effort includes eliminating processed food, consuming organic food, eating more fruits and vegetables, and also reducing sugar drastically.
Instead of blaming the natural alteration in human body, the patients are suggested to learn about its symptoms. It will be better if the patients could also avoid the cause. For those who have diagnosed by the doctors to take certain treatment and care, it is important to do as told. Only with intensive care, the skin would become better