As a pharmacy specializing in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, we are privileged to speak to many patients who have found life-changing benefits from the use of advanced therapies. Hidradenitis Suppurativa is one such condition where biologic therapies such as Adalimumab (originator drug Humira) have had a significant impact. The sad thing is that many people with this condition are not diagnosed until they have had symptoms for over 8 years. Early treatment is important.
This chronic inflammatory skin disease causes lesions to develop in areas of the body that contain a high density of apocrine sweat glands. Common areas where HS develops include the armpits, underneath the breasts, inner thighs, groin, and buttocks. The lesions can be misdiagnosed as boils. The condition usually starts at puberty when hormonal level change and apocrine sweat glands develop. The tissue is painful and left untreated can lead to scaring and many negative health impacts. According to the HS Foundation, the exact cause of HS is not currently known. Still, research so far suggests that a combination of factors of genes, defects in the structure of hair follicles and sweat glands, immune system activation, and hormones may all play a role in the development of HS.
We also recommend you have a look at the HS Foundations Guidebook for patients living with HS as it is an excellent resource that was last updated in 2022.
Carolyn Whiskin is the Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health. Carolyn specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, pharmaceutical compounding, women’s health, pain, and smoking cessation. Carolyn has won provincial and national awards for her commitment to patient care and public service.