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Hidradenitis suppurativa isn't something to be ashamed of, but it's not uncommon to feel embarrassed. Concerns often include scarring or odors related to hidradenitis suppurativa abscesses. The lumps that characterize the condition are also often found in intimate areas of the body, such as the groin and between the buttocks. This can affect intimate relationships. You may worry about your appearance. And pain and scarring in the genital area can affect your sex life.
As a result of these concerns, people with hidradenitis suppurativa may become less social. They also experience higher levels of anxiety, loneliness and depression than do others.
When your self-esteem has taken a hit, you may feel like withdrawing. But it's important to your health and quality of life that you don't. Learn about your condition, and share what you're learning with your loved ones.
You may find it especially helpful to talk to others who have hidradenitis suppurativa. Some hidradenitis suppurativa support groups meet online. Others meet in person. Examples of support groups for hidradenitis suppurativa include:
You can also ask your doctor for suggestions on a hidradenitis support group near you. Most importantly, know that you are not alone. There are others who'll understand and value your experiences and feelings.
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
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