Hi everyone! My name is Nikki, and I’m a 28 year old woman that has HS Disease. I was once asked if I had a STD because of my HS; that was humiliating.

This is my story…

I was 10 when my symptoms began, and it took another 18 years before I got my HS diagnosis from my Primary Care Physician. I am currently in the second stage of HS and I work as a Forman at a landscape company, and yes, HS has affected my job. I will usually call in when it gets bad enough although I do try to stick it out when I can.

The pain that comes with HS is hard to describe because anything and everything that touches it hurts. It’s like sitting on big needles. I’d say there are two main challenges I’ve faced living with this condition. Humiliation from being asked if I had a STD and my husband asking me if I had used his deodorant because his underarm broke out.

I don’t really manage my HS. Since my diagnosis is fairly recent they have only put me on a daily antibiotic. Usually, when I get an outbreak I try to open it up with a clean needle. A dermatologist unfortunately recommended lancing all my sores a while ago. The last one I had done was so painful after the meds wore off I promised myself I’d never do that again. So I now take “lancing them” safely into my own hands.

Getting the pressure off the lesions helps with the pain.

If I could grant a person newly diagnosed with HS a wish for their future it would be that their HS wouldn’t stick around long. I’ve heard it does go away for some people. I know without HS my life would be different. I could be more physical at the gym or play sports like volleyball, softball or go swimming more often with less embarrassment and pain.

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