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Axillary hydradenitis: how banal shaving at home can end in surgery

In January, Vlad Topalov underwent two operations: the singer and husband of Regina Todorenko for the first time in his life learned what hydradenitis is. But many people do epilation in the armpits. We figured out with an expert doctor where the inflammation comes from, whether all deodorants are harmful and whether it is possible to use folk remedies.
According to Topalov, he was regularly doing hair removal in the underarms using the razor. Not knowing that the dirt can get into the micro-cuts and turn into purulent inflammation. For two weeks in January, the artist has undergone two operations and will be restricted in movement for some time, as prescribed by doctors.

“I would never have thought: I thought, on the contrary, that it would be cleaner, that there would be no dirt. My pus was leaking… Anyway, I’m home. Not much to do. That’s what pisses me off. Not that I’m mad about the operation. I hate that I have nothing to do: I can’t do anything special. You can’t move too much. Nothing is allowed. Apparently, I will annoy you with my videos, ” Vlad complained to subscribers.
Not just inflammation
It should be noted that gidradenit (people still say bitch udder) is not an inflammation of the sweat glands, as previously believed. This inflammatory skin disease is only located in areas where specific apocrine sweat glands are located – mainly in the armpits and perineum.

They differ from other sweat glands in that their ducts open not to the surface of the skin, like the ducts of ordinary (eccrine) sweat glands, but to the mouths of sebaceous hair follicles. It is this close anatomical location that leads to severe inflammation of all skin structures during the primary change in the function of the sebaceous gland. A similar mechanism of development is observed in acne. Today’s hidradenitis considered as a variation of the so-called inverse acne.

Who is at risk?
Risk factors include:

skin damage (abrasions, scratches, including those formed after shaving, epilation, diaper rash);

endocrine pathology;

heredity (more than ⅓ of patients have a near relative suffering from hydradenitis);


Gyulaliev Jamil Misovich
doctor-dermatovenerologist of the clinical and diagnostic center MEDSI on Belorusskaya, candidate of medical Sciences
“Since in the early stages of hydradenitis may look similar to other diseases, it is best to immediately contact a certified dermatologist for a diagnosis. The earlier this step is taken, the less effort will be required for treatment. In the case of hydradenitis, this is very important, the treatment may take more than one month!

Will you need surgery or not? Everything is individual. Much depends on the stage and severity of the process. In the early uncomplicated stages, external antibacterial therapy and/or oral administration of antibacterial drugs is sufficient, based on their anti-inflammatory effect. If insufficient effectiveness is prescribed:

* vitamin a derivatives to reduce sebaceous gland secretion • hormonal anti-inflammatory drugs • * immunocompetent agents.
Are deodorants so harmful?
Without treatment, hydradenitis can continue for a long period with cycles of suppuration and healing in the form of scars. This vicious circle (“healing and scarring”) can lead to the development of hollow channels, also called fistulas. Fistulas are often painful and require surgery.

There is a stereotype that deodorants can contribute to clogging the follicles. Like, not everyone is equally useful. According to our expert, this question cannot be answered unequivocally.

“Rather than deodorants themselves, the skin microtraumas associated with their use, including those formed after shaving and epilation. But during the period of exacerbations, it is really better to avoid them, so as not to cause additional irritation.”
No plantain or cabbage
As you know, not all patients rush to the doctor at the first alarming symptoms. Some are ready to try a lot of folk remedies, hoping for recovery. On the Web, you can find recommendations on how to get rid of hydradenitis using plantain leaves, cabbage, aloe and even cottage cheese compresses. Can we hope that they will help? Of course not.

“Being a proponent of evidence-based medicine, I do not advise resorting to such experiments,” our expert explains.

And do not delay the trip to the dermatologist, to avoid then surgery or long-term treatment.

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