The Three Stages of Hidradenitis Suppurativa
When hidradenitis suppurativa is diagnosed in a patient, doctors also determine which stage the disease has reached. There are three stages and each has its own separate list of symptoms. The stages are based on Hurley’s three-stage system.
Stage one is often just one solitary abscess that recurs. More than one abscess can be classed as stage one hidradenitis suppurativa, as long as the abscesses are not linked together in formations known as sinus tracts. hidradenitissuppurativa diagnosed as stage one does not have the scarring risks that are seen in the later stages. Symptoms of stage one hidradenitis suppurativa include:
- One solitary abscess
- Multiple abscesses not linked together
- No scarring
Treatments for stage one hidradenitis suppurativa are mainly lifestyle advice. Doctors and dermatologists may suggest losing weight and stopping smoking, as these are seen to be risk factors for the development ofhidradenitis suppurativa.
Medication is normally only prescribed when abscesses are inflamed. Medication prescribed for this is usually an antibioticknown for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Stage two develops as hidradenitis suppurativa abscesses begin to recur on a regular basis. This causes the abscesses to link together in a process known as sinus tract formation. Other symptoms of stage two hidradenitis suppurativa highlight frequent abscess inflammation that can restrict movement.Stage two symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa include:
- Abscesses that are linked together
- Recurrent abscesses
- Restricted movement
In addition to prescribing antibiotics, a doctor or dermatologist may suggest minor surgery to help ease movement. This minor surgery consists of incision and drainage of the abscess that is causing the problem.
Stage three is the third and final stage of hidradenitis suppurativa. This includes the most serious symptoms. Abscesses can cover huge areas of the body and these are linked to each other through sinus tracts. Inflammation of isolated sites can rise to the size of golf balls and sometimes even bigger. Infection can spread along the sinus tracts. These severe symptoms may leave patients being unable to function.Stage three symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa include:
- Connected abscesses over a large section of the body
- Infection of the sinus tracts
- Inflammation rising to the size of golf balls or larger
These severe symptoms of stage three hidradenitis can lead to serious complications without medication. Medications to help relieve the symptoms at this stage include more aggressive treatments such as intravenous drugs or corticosteroid injections.