Understanding and Healing Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS)

By TLC Medicine  

June 2-8 is Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) Awareness Week. Also known as acne inversa, HS is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that, like acne, can be debilitating for those who suffer from it. As much as 4% of the population is affected by this, yet many do not receive a proper diagnosis due to a lack of awareness among doctors and patients.

What is Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS)?

Imagine swollen painful lumps under your skin that seem to have a life of their own. That’s HS for many. This condition occurs when hair follicles become blocked and inflamed forming what is known as an abscess. Typically, they occur around areas where the skin rubs together, like underarms and the groin, but they can also present elsewhere on the body. Think of HS like acne, but unlike acne, the abscesses don’t rupture above the skin. In severe cases, it can leave scarring. HS is a chronic condition that can significantly affect one’s quality of life.

Causes of HS

The exact cause of HS remains a bit of a mystery, but it’s closely tied to the hair follicles becoming clogged. Factors such as hormones, genetics, and immune system issues play a significant role as well. It’s a complex condition that tells us our body is sending signals that something is out of balance.

Triggers of HS

HS can lie dormant until certain triggers awaken it. These triggers vary from person to person but often include stress, hormonal changes, certain medications, and even tight clothing. Recognizing these triggers is a first step towards taking control of HS, rather than letting it control you.

Treatment Options

Western medicine offers various treatments for HS, including antibiotics, hormones, steroids, and sometimes surgery. While these can be effective, the effects are often short-term and may have undesirable side effects. Such treatment options often address the symptoms rather than the root cause. At TLC Medicine, we encourage looking at the whole picture and including alternative treatment paths that focus on healing from the inside out.

Understanding HS from a TCM Perspective

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a unique lens to view and treat HS. It sees the body as a network of energy systems, where balance is key to health. Just like acne, HS is seen in TCM as a result of heat, dampness, and toxin accumulation in the body. By addressing these imbalances through acupuncture, herbal medicine, and dietary changes, TCM aims to not just treat HS, but to restore harmony to the body as a whole.

At TLC Medicine, we believe your body has an inherent power to heal itself. HS is not just a condition to be managed but an opportunity to listen deeply to what your body is saying. By marrying science with holistic practices, like TCM, we can find paths towards healing that respect the wisdom of both.

To explore more about holistic healing and ways we can support your journey with HS, connect with us at TLC Medicine. Together, we can uncover the healing potential within you.