Hi everyone. I am responding to questions about surgery as a treatment for HS. I am 64 years old and first started having outbreaks at age 33 with birth of my son. I went to dermatologists who would prescribe antibiotics and would lance the more serious boils as needed. As time went on the outbreaks became more severe and started to destroy the tissue under my arms leaving gaping holes that never closed up.
In 2001 I went to the dermatology dept at the va hospital in Houston and was told that I needed to see a general surgeon and was referred to that dept at the va. The Houston VA is a teaching hospital so doctors are trained there and only have short periods of residency before they move on to their final destinations in their practices. I was very lucky and had a very skilled surgeon who removed the sweat glands from under both my arms and improved the looks and health of the tissue under both my arms. The scarring from the surgery was minimal but it did take a couple of months to heal completely. The surgery was a complete success and I have not had any outbreaks since in that area.
Unfortunately, the outbreaks then started in groin and buttocks within about 4 years and I am now having the same problem in those areas as I did with my armpits. I tried to seek out another surgeon since the one who did my surgery under my arms in now in another part of the country. I have been told that they no longer use the surgery as a treatment and that I needed to take 2-3 baths daily with epsom salts and that this is the only approved treatment now and that I just needed to learn to live with it. They went on to say that surgery in the groin area an buttocks would be impossible as there are too many sweat glands and that they couldn't successfully get to them all. I feel like most of the "surgeons" I spoke to just didn't want to deal with the disease and were disgusted by it and believed that my cleanliness was the reason I had such a problem.
I had pretty much given up all hope when this week I decided to see if anything new had been discovered as a treatment for HS when I found your website. I am compiling a list of everything I have found here and intend to try everything until I get some relief. Any improvement would be appreciated whether I find a cure or not. The one thing I know is that Epsom salts does not work even if you spend the day in the bathtub. I thank God that I have found this website and pray to God that I find even a little relief. Thank you for being here. Cynthia in Richmond Tx.