Hidradenitis Suppuratavia or HS, or acne inversa, is a skin disorder that affects the sweat glands in your body. However, HS may appear to be a lot of other conditions.
This is especially true for pilonidal cysts. This is because both:
- It can be found in the upper buttocks or tailbone
- Both cause painful lumps around the skin
- Similar risk factors
Big Difference #1 – HS is a genetic disorder
Pilonidal Cysts and HS express themselves in the body in a lot of the same ways. Both cause painful lumps on the skin that won’t go away. Both symptoms are caused by pressure and irritation. The difference is that HS is a chronic skin disorder, while Pilonidal cysts are infections caused by friction, ingrown hairs, and too much pressure in the buttock’s tailbone area
HS on the other hand is a condition that directly affects the apocrine glands or basically the sweat glands that rest between your skin and fat.
HS makes your body create excessive amounts of inflammatory proteins called cytokines. When these cytokines build up on the apocrine glands we mentioned earlier, your apocrine gland starts to secrete pus and irritate the skin around your:
Big difference # 2 – HS can cause symptoms where Pilonidal cysts don’t
Both HS and Pilonidal Cysts can cause:
- Hard lumps around the skin
- Painful infections
- General skin misery
But HS can affect any part of the body that has apocrine sweat glands, especially if they have been under chronic stress.
This means that HS can affect your:
- Under the breast
While pilonidal cysts usually remain near the tailbone and anal tract. In fact, due to their similarity, some researchers have theorized that chronic Pilonidal cysts are simply an expression of HS but more testing is needed.
Big Difference #3 – HS can’t be cured
While Pilonidal cysts also have a bad habit of reoccurring, HS can be incredibly stubborn in sticking around.
Treatments for Pilonidal Cysts and HS do overlap somewhat. Both can be treated using antibiotics, but unfortunately, this does not treat the underlying inflammation.
Generally speaking, your doctor will probably suggest the following:
- Maintains a healthier body weight
- Stop or cut down on smoking and drinking
- Eat a healthier diet
Both Pilonidal Cysts and HS can be treated surgically, but your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatories such as Humira for HS to deal with inflammation directly.
Big Simarility #1 – both need a talk with your doctor
Left untreated pilonidal cysts can grow infected and cause extreme pain. HS can be painful and cause open wounds that can be tough to endure or look at.
If you or a loved one believe that your skin needs a checkup, speak to a doctor right away, and spare yourself another day of itchy pain.