Q& A

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - ADVICE - WITH DR NINA BYRNES drn­ina@in­de­pen­dent.ie

HY­DRADENI­TIS sup­pu­ra­tiva (HS), is a con­di­tion that re­sults in painful lumps un­der the skin. These lumps typ­i­cally oc­cur in places where there is fric­tion or skin rubs to­gether. It is most com­mon in the armpits, the up­per thighs and in the groin area. The con­di­tion is three times more com­mon in women than men. There is also an in­creased risk on those who smoke and those who are over­weight or obese.

The lumps can be come painful as they en­large, es­pe­cially those deep in the skin lay­ers. They can then rup­ture, ex­trud­ing pu­ru­lent or blood stained fluid, which can smell at times. As these rup­tured lumps heal they can cause scar­ring, which may over time de­velop into tun­nels of scar tis­sue un­der the skin.

The cause of HS is un­known. It rarely oc­curs be­fore pu­berty and of­ten set­tles af­ter menopause, so it is thought hor­mones may play a role. The con­di­tion can run in fam­i­lies. The im­mune sys­tem may also play a role. The im­por­tant thing to know is that HS is not con­ta­gious and it is not a con­di­tion of poor hy­giene.

HS may flare quite sud­denly. When this oc­curs a course of an­tibi­otics is of­ten re­quired to help things set­tle down. The goal of med­i­cal treat­ment is to man­age and re­duce break­outs and to pre­vent the scar­ring and tun­nelling that can oc­cur.

Acne washes and treat­ment or mild bleach baths — (check with your GP first) — may help re­duce the risk of fur­ther break­outs oc­cur­ring. Hor­mones such as the con­tra­cep­tive pill can help in some women. Met­formin, a drug use in Type 2 di­a­betes, is some­times tried. Steroid in­jec­tions into larger lumps may help re­duce in­flam­ma­tion, but these are not used as of­ten as other treat­ments. More re­cently drugs that act on the im­mune sys­tem have shown some ben­e­fit. These need to be

Epre­scribed by a spe­cial­ist and close ob­ser­va­tion will be re­quired.

For those with prob­lem­atic scar­ring, surgery may be an op­tion. There are a num­ber of meth­ods used. These vary form sim­ple in­ci­sion and drainage of ab­scess to more invasive surgery re­mov­ing

My seven-year-old daugh­ter has just de­vel­oped some un­sightly look­ing scabs around her

nos­trils. Is this from a re­cent cold, or could it be some­thing more sin­is­ter?

CZEMA typ­i­cally causes skin to be­come dry, red, scal­ing and itchy. It may be­come in­fected lead­ing to bubbles that can weep or ooze fluid. The skin can be­come bro­ken from re­peated scratch­ing. When the skin is in­fected, im­petigo may oc­cur.

This is a highly con­ta­gious in­fec­tion that spreads eas­ily through fam­i­lies and crèches where close skin con­tact is com­mon. The ir­ri­tated skin forms crusted straw-coloured bubbles or scabs. Mild im­petigo usu­ally re­sponds very well to an­tibi­otic cream. More ad­vanced cases will re­quire an oral an­tibi­otic also. the scarred or af­fected tis­sue.

Lifestyle and pre­ven­tion do play a role. There is a sug­gested link with meta­bolic syn­drome, which is as­so­ci­ated with a diet high in re­fined car­bo­hy­drates. Eat­ing a healthy diet with plenty fruit, veg and un­pro­cessed

Herpes sim­plex 1 virus (HSV-1), or cold sores may be an­other cause of crusted skin around the nose area. HSV-1 virus is passed on by close con­tact with some­one who is ac­tively shed­ding the virus. Once a per­son has con­tracted the virus, it then lays dor­mant in nerve cells, but can be ac­ti­vated re­peat­edly over a life­time due to a num­ber of trig­gers.

The main cause of a cold-sore flare is usu­ally a dip in the im­mune sys­tem. Cold sores most com­monly oc­cur around the lips, but can spread to other parts of the face or body. Symp­toms com­monly start with pain or tin­gling around the lip. This is fol­lowed carbs may help. Those who smoke should stop com­pletely. Reach­ing and main­tain­ing a healthy weight is im­por­tant and fol­low­ing a sim­ple skin care rou­tine also helps. Cleanse the skin with a gen­tle cleanser de­signed for ir­ri­tated or acne prone skin. Avoid wear­ing tight con­stric­tive cloth­ing. Loose cot­ton clothes will cause less fric­tion and ir­ri­ta­tion. If an ab­scess is present, don’t squeeze or put pres­sure on it. It will make things worse. Avoid shav­ing dur­ing a break-out. A hot com­press or a hot teabag will help ease in­flam­ma­tion and make skin more com­fort­able. For those who like to try com­ple­men­tary meth­ods, zinc sup­ple­ments may help re­duce in­flam­ma­tion and break­outs.

If sim­ple treat­ment and lifestyle aren’t work­ing, it is worth seek­ing the opin­ion of a der­ma­tol­o­gist who may pre­scribe a more in­ten­sive treat­ment op­tion.

a few days later by the de­vel­op­ment of painful red blis­ters, which ul­ti­mately break, ooze and then form a yel­low­ish crust.

The usual du­ra­tion of a flare is 10 to 14 days. Cold sores are highly con­ta­gious from the time they flare, un­til the skin has fully crusted over and is healed. An­tivi­ral creams such as acy­clovir, can be help­ful if ap­plied at the first sign of a flare and can be pur­chased with­out a pre­scrip­tion at your local phar­macy. If symp­toms are se­vere, or if sores are near the eye, it is im­por­tant to see your GP as pre­scrip­tion an­tivi­ral tablets will be re­quired.

1. Leg press

2. Squat

3. In­cline press

4. Bench press

5. Pullover with a dumb­bell

6. Pec Deck

7. Mil­i­tary press

8. Bi­cep curl

9. Up­right row­ing

10. Tri­ceps press­down

11. Lat pull­down

12. Crunches

Do three sets of 15 rep­e­ti­tions to be com­pleted in 45 min­utes. Then cool down for five min­utes with a stretch. Ask your trainer to im­ple­ment this se­quence for six weeks and see the re­sults.


Hy­dradeni­tis sup­pu­ra­tiva

is not con­ta­gious

Re­search from the Univer­sity of Cal­gary found that reg­u­lar love­mak­ing re­duces stress, low­ers choles­terol and boosts brain cells. While a sep­a­rate study at also found that be­ing in­ti­mate with a lov­ing part­ner can halve the like­li­hood of death from any cause over a 10-year pe­riod.

Yet, in­ti­macy goes be­yond re­leas­ing happy hor­mones, it re­leases and as­sim­i­lates the growth of healthy brain cells which can pre­vent de­men­tia.

Their rec­om­men­da­tion is to make love at least twice a week for the best re­sults. The ef­fect of hav­ing some­one in your life that is mad about you gives you a warm glow in­side and helps you grow as a per­son.

To love some­body you have to love your­self first, only then can you give love back. So, go for it.

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