I'm 42 years old (43 next month) and have been getting lesions all my adult life. It's been much worse in the past 5 years - I always have 6-10 active abscesses. Areas affected - mostly in my groin and under my breasts. I hadn't had one in my armpits for years, but guess where I feel one starting now? (We all know "that old feeling", don't we?!) My dermatologist and I are presently trying different antibiotics - so far erythromy-cin and minocycline have failed to make the slightest difference. I'm now on cephalexin - so far there seems to be a very slight improvement

- we'll see. I think there might be something to the theory that HS may be linked to the immune system - maybe our immune systems are attacking our sweat glands. This may be why one member sees such relief from prednisone. Most physicians think that HS is an infection, starting either in the eccrine and/or apocrine glands themselves or in the follicles. If it is strictly an infection, cortisone - an immune suppressant

- would be contraindicated. Interesting.

My experience with physicians has been mostly positive - my internist and my dermatologist are very sympathetic. I saw my derm. on Monday. He doesn't "buy into the theory" that HS is autoimmune, he believes that it's a genetic defect that causes the apocrine glands to be prone to blockage and inflammation, and secondarily, infection. He also believes this genetic defect causes an androgen imbalance. He does, though, acknowledge that there are different theories about the cause. I've been on cephalex-in for one month, with a slight improvement -since starting it I have an average of 6-8 abscesses continuously instead of the usual 8-10. He wants me to continue the antibiotic, and I will give it another month, but I don't want to take antibiotics long term unless the improvement is significant, which so far it isn't.

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