The disease Verneuil (sometimes called hidradenitis suppurativa , Velpeau’s disease or apocrine acne ) is a chronic disease reaching specific area, the armpits, and the folds of the groin, gluteal fold region and perineum, the underside of the breasts or still areoles of the breasts.
The glands present in these places tend to clog, causing the formation of nodules (rounded formations under the skin), abscess (nodule containing pus) or fistula (the abscess is open to the outside and evacuates the pus).
It affects between 0.3 and 1% of the population, and more than 600 000 people in France . Verneuil’s disease is in some cases associated with another disease such as Crohn’s disease (digestive disease) or joint disease.
Verneuil’s disease is a chronic skin condition that evolves through outbreaks . It is mainly manifested by the appearance of abscesses and nodules accompanied by pain in the areas of the apocrine glands. It is a chronic disease that can be very embarrassing or even disabling.
What are the causes of Verneuil’s disease?
The origin of inflammation is found in the pilosebaceous follicles which contain the apocrine glands, the glands responsible for the manufacture and externalization of sweat. Infection and inflammation occur when these glands are clogged. Although the cause of this obstruction is unknown, hormonal and genetic factors , smoking and obesity may be involved.
What are the risk populations for Verneuil’s disease?
There are different categories of populations at risk:
- People who have affected people in the family because there is a genetic factor. In 30 to 40% of cases, there are several people with the same family.
- There is predominance among women, even if it affects both sexes.
- The disease often begins in adolescence or in young adults.
- Verneuil’s disease is rare before puberty and after menopause.
- The quality of hygiene is not involved in Verneuil’s disease. It is not a question of a lack of neither hygiene nor an unsuitable hygiene.
What are the symptoms of Verneuil’s disease?
manifestations of the disease appear mainly, in order of decreasing frequency, in the armpits, in the groin, on the inside of the thighs, the perineum (or between the anus and the genital area), the nipples, the folds sub-mammary, buttocks and the area around the pubis.
Here is what can be observed in these areas:
– The formation of inflated nodules in the affected areas is noted, which can be filled with pus and then open outwards with a flow of pus.
– These formations can last a long time, one can observe several cavities suppurant of a chronic way.
– By dint of undergoing these abscesses, the skin of the affected areas can form hard plaques, hypertrophic scars (in relief).
In rare cases, skin cancer can develop, particularly in the buttocks and perineum. Verneuil’s disease can sometimes be associated with severe acne or Crohn’s disease.
What are the possible treatments for Verneuil’s disease?
The diagnosis is often made after several years of evolution, often 7 to 8 years, which delays the establishment of an effective treatment. It is based on the examination of typical lesions and their recurrences.
Currently, no treatment can cure Verneuil’s disease. The proposed treatments are designed to soothe the pain and fight against infections. The choice of treatment varies according to the severity of the lesions and their extent.
Treatment consists of oral antibiotics , combined with surgery to drain the abscess when necessary. Local antibiotics, in the form of cream, gel or lotion are not effective. Some long-term antibiotic treatment protocols also aim to prevent recurrence.
Stopping smoking and losing weight when necessary can reduce the amount and frequency of recurrence. Verneuil’s disease in women naturally often experiences remission after menopause.