I truly feel for everyone in here. I have had HS (undiagnosed - but treated) for going on 15 year now (I'm 30). I guess that I'm a rarer case from the sounds of things, one being that I'm a guy, and two being that doxycycline actually worked for me. I have been on the med for a couple of years now and wash previously troubled areas daily with hibiclens soap and I have been boil free (for the most part) since I started the med.
From my experience... drinking alcohol makes things bad, as the alcohol in my system pushes the doxycycline out of my system and the disease comes back for 24 hours or so with a vengeance. I've also had success putting the hibiclens on troubled areas with a cotton ball during flare ups (don't wash off and re-apply when you feel the itch coming back), which somehow helps to prevent things from getting worse and spreading.
What brings me back to the online community after years of control is that my new insurance won't pay much for the doxycycline, making the drug $70 a month... I reluctantly paid for one more month of meds and received word today that I'm going to be switched over to Cephalexin going forward. Has anyone had success with docycycline and then made the switch over to cephalexin? I should mention that I've been on the doxy daily for going on 3 to 4 years now. However, I've been reading that the cephalexin cannot be taken daily due to its strength... I'd be very grateful for any feedback. Good luck everyone, here's to hoping that modern science and medicine will someday soon figure out a cure to this life-altering disease, which is surprisingly affecting a large part of the worlds population.
On that note, I also hope my experience will help someone out there who is struggling to find answers.