Acne Inversa Information (Hidradenitis Suppurativa)
Acne Inversa, also known as Hidradenitis Suppurativa, is a chronic skin disease characterized by abscesses, lesions and scarring. It is caused by a defect of the follicular epithelium, and is known to have a genetic component. There are also a number of physiological and lifestyle factors that can trigger an outbreak of Acne Inversa, including excessive production of androgen hormones, being overweight, and smoking. The condition rarely goes away on its own and early treatment is recommended.
The prevalence of Acne Inverse is estimated to be between 1 to 4% of the world’s population. It is more frequent in women than in men, and very rarely occurs before puberty or after menopause.
What Causes Acne Inversa?
Its exact cause is still debated, however, a number of possible factors have been identified. For example, smoking is such a factor and the condition is more prevalent among smokers. Similarly, being overweight increases the risk of developing the condition because there will be more frictional forces on the skin. Other lifestyle factors implicated in Acne Inversa include excessive sweating, stress, and wearing tight clothing. In addition, the use of some anti-perspirants and shaving may be involved in the worsening of the condition.
There are also genetic and physiological factors that can trigger the condition. Excessive levels of androgen hormones have been identified as causal factors, although many patients seem to have normal androgen levels. The condition tends to run in families, indicating that a genetic factor is also involved.
Although bacterial infections are prevalent in Acne Inversa, these appear to be a result of the disease and not a cause.
Symptoms and Clinical Features
The disease often starts as large blackheads and nodules. They may then join together and form abscesses and sinus tracts. Pus and foul-smelling secretions may drain from the abscesses and inflammatory lesions may form. These can lead to scarring.
It often leads to reduced mobility and recurrent infections of the affected areas. In addition, anemia is common in acne inversa patients owing to chronic inflammation.
Its treatment is still an evolving area. Surgery may be needed for severe cases and to repair damage caused by a long-standing condition. Antibiotics are used to combat secondary infections, and anti-inflammatory drugs are used to reduce inflammation and pain. Some cases of Acne Inversa may warrant the use of immunosuppressants and corticosteroids. Cryotherapy and radiotherapy are two new treatments that are being used on a limited basis.
Natural holistic therapy is crucial for getting the condition under control and can potentially treat all but the most severe cases. This therapy involves the use of lifestyle modification, such as cessation of smoking, wearing loose-fitting clothes and stress management; dietary intervention, mainly the adoption of an anti-inflammatory diet; and nutritional supplementation, such as the use of high dose vitamin supplements that can speed up wound healing, improve skin health and boost the immune system. In addition, natural extracts with antiseptic properties can be very helpful.
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