HS in pregnancy

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Hi All

Just looking for some advice on HS. I'm 34 years old and I got my first flare up a year ago when I was quite run down, then another single lump appeared under other armpit a month later. I was put on antibiotics to get rid of the second lump. It wasn't until the month after the second lump appeared I got an extremely nasty flare up that lasted weeks and covered both underarms. Mine have never burst. I knew I had HS from the research I had done online but I seen 3 doctors and none of them would refer me to dermatologist. I found out I was pregnant shortly after and changed doctor who seemed to know about this condition, obviously I couldn't do anything or go on the long course of antibiotics but he did say to come back to him at the end of my pregnancy and he would skip the dermatologist stage and put me straight in contact with a plastic surgeon. I'm quite confused as I am now near the end of my pregnancy and should be booking an appointment but I haven't had a flare up in nearly 9 months which my doctor has said would be because of the pregnancy. However I have felt the symptoms and tenderness under my armpits but instead of flaring up it has gone away. Has anyone else experienced this? My second question is that I feel I need to speak to a professional about HS as I am so new to it but the doctor is sending me to a plastic surgeon as he said that he is just cutting out the middle man as in the dermatologist. Is my doctor correct in that there is no real benefit to seeing a dermatologist? Also I am not even sure I want surgery on my armpits, I don't understand what it helps with as from all the research I have done it seems like you still get flare ups in those places so is there any benefits to surgery? I feel like I'm living in fear because I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy and I feel like once I have the baby I will get a flare up. I have absolutely no information on if I can breastfeed. It's my first baby which will be great but hard, i just don't know how I will cope if I get a nasty flare up with a newborn baby 😓😓. I could barely cope with HS on my own. Really appreciate any advice. Lauren

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Lauren, your doctor is correct, plastic surgery is the only way to get rid of it for good. I had mine 12yrs ago and have not had any flare ups since. i had tried every other method none of which worked. Hope all goes well for you.
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  • Posted

    Hey. Girly I have had HS for about 13 years now. I am also pregnant. It is common for flares to lessen during pregnancy. Mine did for 2 however with this pregnancy they have been horrible. In my experience with the first 2 pregnancy the flares will get really bad after. I am going to suggest you see a dermatologist. There are some out there that know a lot about this disease. I have met with surgeons the recovery time quoted was 6 months and the surgery was not guaranteed because HS tunnels. I have had one less invasive surgery where the affected area and a large section around it was removed. Unfortunately I ended up with a new tunnel and outbreak 4 yrs later. This time the skin is so much more sensitive. Some people are able to control there outbreaks with meds and diets. I have heard amazing outcomes with Humira. Although it was not for me. I am here if you need to talk or have questions.
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  • Posted

    Hi lauren,

    I wonder if your pregnancy reduced the HS because being pregnant lowers your immune system?

    Anyway, below is my hs history. skip to the last paragraph to get to the advice part.

    I've had HS under my arms for about 20 years now. After about a 10 year remission (still don't know what casued it), it came back about 4 years ago. Since then, I've had really big bumps, sores that never healed (basically I had to put bandages under my arms every morning before work). I think this is described as between stage 2 and 3. I went to a dermotologist and he gave me long-term antibiotice (minocycline). That stopped working after a year. Since then I've been on Humira, which reduced the bumbs to pretty much what you described since being pregnant. Unfortuntely, the open sores didn't stay closed.

    Last October, I had surgery under both arms by a platic surgeon. It was pretty painful. In severe cases, the surgeon leaves the skin open to heal. This takes longer but is more effective. My surgeon thought it would be OK to close up the wounds. After a couple of weeks that the stiches came out, the HS came back. Maybe because the skin was still weak, but the sores opened and emptied out fairy quickly. I started taking minocycline along with the humira plus I stopped eating nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, etc.). That did the trick. I didn't have any outbreaks at all. I stopped taking the antibiotics, a month ago, and small bumps started appearing, but they were like pimples and never got to anything serious. My old wonds are still closed. Still on humira and trying not to eat any nightshades, and it seems to be working for now.

    While it's true that there's only so much a dermatologist can do, one experienced in HS might best be able to determine if its the best time for surgery, or if other treatments should be tried-- long term antibiotics, Humira, laser treatments, and so on. From what I've read, surgery should only be done when you have persistent, open sores. Because surgery isn't going to prevent new bumps, it's just going to remove damaged tissue. If you don't have any open sores, I'd really recomend talking to a dermatologist experienced with HS. I'm not a doctor, but I do know it can't hurt to get another experienced opinion.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your replies. I think I will take your advice and see a dermatologist before considering surgery. I can't predict what will happen when I have the baby but I guess I am hoping it doesn't return but from the tenderness under my arms this week I would imagine the pregnancy is stopping it flaring up somehow. I know this sounds strange but from reading on here all about the nightshades i remembered that I had very unusually for me scoffed a load of jalapeño peppers while out at dinner last Sunday and it was approx 2 days later I started getting tenderness under my arms. I have decided to completely cut out nightshades so am hoping above hope that they are my trigger as the list of nightshade foods is not too extensive and I feel that I could manage easily to cut them out of my life.

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