What does HS look like? We have some hidradenitis suppurativa pictures to share.

Firstly, Hidradenitis Suppurativa pictures can be found on the internet easily. But for most of us, it is a hidden disease in many ways. A lot of people haven’t heard of it, and so a lot of people with HS don’t like to talk about it. Because there is often a sense of embarrassment or shame around having HS, it can affect your self esteem and body image. When I was searching for a feature image for this article, I came across this volcano, which felt like a good fit to describe HS visually.

Misdiagnosis of HS

There is a lot of misunderstanding and misdiagnosis of the disease because unfortunately still some physicians do not know about the disease.
It affects areas of the body that can be covered up and hidden. HS lesions vary drastically in size and severity from person to person, and so people with HS are very good at hiding them.

HS is often easy to cover up and hide

Because HS is so easy to hide, people often don’t understand how it can be so painful and debilitating, and tell us “oh but you don’t look sick” or “it can’t be that bad”. Unfortunately for people with HS, HS lesions can flare almost overnight.
What started as a small lump can quickly develop into a very sore and inflamed lesion.

HS of the Armpit

hs armpit stage 1    hs armpit stage 1    hs armpit stage 2    HS stage 2

These lesions can then go on to form tunnels under the skin that drain and leak. Or they can cause large holes to form in the skin that become large open wounds.

hs armpit stage 3         HS stage 3 armpit

All of the images above are from the same armpit, showing the progression of HS over 18 months.

Sometimes these lesions go away, but more often than not, some form of medical treatment is required. This can range from a variety of antibiotics, steroids, immunosuppressants and biological therapies, to surgical excision. But Hidradenitis Suppurativa is relentless, and more often than not, it will reoccur.

Other HS Locations

                                              

HS also causes the skin to form scars, that are very painful and uncomfortable to live with. And it can occur almost anywhere on the body even behind the ears! It can occur in the armpits, groin, thighs, buttocks, genitals and intimate areas. Also the abdomen, breasts, chest, neck and back.

hidradenitis suppuratvia picture scar   hidradenitis suppuratvia picture ear

It is not hard to find images of hidradenitis suppurativa online. But a lot of these images come from medical journals and are more severe cases of the disease.
So I wanted to share some more photos of my HS and show you what it looks like.  You can also find more HS pictures here.

HS is a hidden disease. The more we talk about it, and share our stories and experiences, the less hidden it will be.

 

About the Author

Suzanne Hidradenitis suppurativa

Suzanne Moloney has had HS since she was 13 years old, and so she has made it her life’s work to improve the lives of people with HS. Due to her own struggles with HS and wound care, she founded HidraMed Solutions in 2016.