Is Hidradenitis Suppurativa A Disability?
Performing day-to-day tasks at work may be difficult for those suffering from a disability. The inability to perform such tasks may cause those individuals to become absent from work, which could result in unpaid bills piling up and overwhelming feelings. Fortunately, there are benefits for those who have worked and paid into social security disability (SSD) and have a qualified disability, like Hidradenitis Suppurativa, that is expected to last at least one year. The insurance program is funded by automatic paycheck deductions. The difference between this type of benefit is that SSD benefits are funded by the people who will later apply to use these benefits.
What is Hidradenitis Suppurativa?
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a painful chronic skin condition that results in bumps under the skin. These bumps are typically near the sweat glands in the hair roots. These bumps may appear as pimples, blackheads, boils, and even cysts. However, these bumps typically appear where pimples or blackheads wouldn’t normally manifest. If these bumps are not treated early, they can grow deep into the skin, rupture, and cause scarring. If the scarring is bad enough, it can impact mobility in the areas that have been affected.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa Signs and Symptoms
The most common sign of hidradenitis suppurativa is the bump. This condition can start off with a single bump that lasts days to months or multiple bumps that reoccur in the same general area. The most common areas where this skin disease forms include:
- Groin area
- Inner thighs
- Under the breast
- Around the buttocks
These bumps can be painful, itchy, inflamed, and filled with pus. They can also have various appearances. These include:
- Blackheads: The bump may contain a blackhead. These often appear cloistered together to form a “double-barreled” pattern.
- Painful nodules: Hard lumps may form in the areas listed above that are painful. These nodules develop under the skin and have the potential to grow if inflamed.
- Red, sore bumps: These bumps start off as red and sore to touch. If they grow, they often develop pus. If these bumps rupture, itchiness and/or burning may follow.
- Fistulas: These are more like sores that leak pus. These sores take a long time to heal. If scarring occurs, they may form tunnels under the skin that can connect together.
Individuals that have hidradenitis suppurativa may experience one of the symptoms or all of the symptoms. The symptoms may also come and go, but there are some people that consistently have the bumps.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa Diagnosis
A doctor will diagnose hidradenitis suppurativa based on where the bumps are located and how often they remain and/or persist. A sample of the bump may be taken for testing to make sure that it’s not another skin disease or condition. They may also ask questions regarding how long you’ve had the symptoms, if they’re painful, and if anyone else in your family has experienced these bumps.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa Prognosis
Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for this condition. However, it is manageable with treatment. While individuals with hidradenitis suppurativa have a fairly good prognosis, this condition can get to a point where it is debilitating. The pain and scarring can hinder mobility and people’s’ ability to do basic tasks at work or at home. Therefore, a person with this condition can live a long lives, but their quality of life may be less than ideal.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa Causes
While the cause of hidradenitis suppurativa is not well-known, there are some common factors:
While doctors are aware of how this condition develops – hair follicles and sweat glands being blocked or clogged – they don’t know why this condition happens. They do know that it is not caused by poor hygiene, any type of sexually transmitted disease, or infection. Unfortunately, if you have skin that rubs together, there is a chance that this condition could develop. Just keep in mind that it’s more common in women and that genetics, obesity, and smoking play a bigger role in the development of this condition.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa Treatment
Treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa depends heavily on the severity of the bumps. The main course of action for treating this condition is managing the symptoms as there isn’t a cure. Treatments may include:
- Medication: These medicines may be anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, corticosteroids, and even birth control.
- Bleach baths: Some doctors may recommend taking 5-10 minute bleach baths to kill the bacteria and prevent infection.
- Surgery: If severity of the condition calls for surgery, doctors may recommend laser surgery to kill the hair follicles, draining the bumps with an incision, or other surgical procedures that help remove the skin of the problem area.
- Lifestyle changes: If someone is overweight or is a smoker, losing weight and quitting smoking may be effective.
Treating this condition is mainly based on trial and error, so you may need to try various treatment methods before finding one that works.
Can You Get Hidradenitis Suppurativa Disability?
If the symptoms of this condition are severe, you may be able to receive disability benefits. You’ll have to meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) medical listing requirements for hidradenitis suppurativa, show the symptoms of the condition, or demonstrate that the symptoms impair your ability to work.
The SSA will assess your physical and mental abilities to determine the level of work that you can perform. Individuals suffering from hidradenitis suppurativa may often experience severe stress from the symptoms. You should ensure that all of your symptoms and challenges with this condition are documented in your medical history. It is essential that your records, test results, and statements from your doctor support a diagnosis of hidradenitis suppurativa. Qualifying for disability benefits will also depend upon your age and work history as well as the mental and physical requirements of any jobs that you are qualified to perform.
Getting Help From an Attorney for Hidradenitis Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits is not an easy process. The paperwork that is required for an application to be considered contains various parts. Applicants often feel overwhelmed and alone when they are trying to get the benefits that they need to pay for their basic necessities. A skilled SSD attorney can provide any guidance that is needed to get disabled individuals through the application process. Attorneys understand the SSA’s requirements and ensure that these are met to increase the chances of their clients being approved.