Treatment

1. Is there one particular treatment that is successful?

2. Should I take anti-inflammatory drugs? Anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce pain in the short term: there are no indications to the contrary. Their only benefit is to relieve pain. They are sometimes suspected of encouraging the spread of, or aggravating, infections, but this has never been convincingly demonstrated. However, it is advisable to be careful.

Isotretinoin (Roaccutane®, Curacne) is almost never effective. One can try retinoids for patients who also suffer from severe acne, but (a) these cases are rare and (b) one usually sees an improvement in the acne, but not in the HS.

4. When suppuration is permanent, can I take antibiotics? And for how long? Antibiotics are sometimes useful. They can stop suppuration, deter an inflammatory growth and make it less painful, but this is not always the case. Each patient must try them for him or herself. An antibiotic that targets a bacteria identified by bacterial analysis can be used, but this is not obligatory. When there is permanent suppuration, surgery must be considered.

5. How can I relieve itching?

Itching is frequently a secondary effect of using local remedies or deodorants, antiseptics or other remedies. It is best to stop using them if they are doing little or no good. Chronic suppuration is the other factor involved in itching, and this takes us back to the problem of treatment to stop chronic suppuration.

6. What kinds of analgesic should I use? Should I use them for long periods? Analgesics are not very effective against pain from inflammation. The essential thing therefore is to try to fight the infectious inflammation itself. However, all analgesics can be used.

7. What does treatment by laser consist of?

There are at least three types of laser that can be used:

a. The CO2 laser is used for surgery under a general anesthetic in place of surgery using the scalpel. The advantages of this type of intervention are dubious; it is up to the surgeon to decide.

b. Lasers used for the removal of hair have been tried in some cases. It is too early to say whether this has an effect on the occurrence of new lesions.

c. "The smooth beam" is another technique, which seeks to destroy (sweat) sudoral and (fat) sebaceous glands without touching the surface skin. This, too, is a technique in its infancy and only at some future date shall we know whether it is of interest.

8. Does definitive depilation stop new lesions?

See Question 7.

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