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Alex (male)

 I went 18 years without diagnosis. I saw a dermatologist when I was 18 for my first abscess in the middle of my chest and he basically said "Some kind of acne, you'll probably grow out of it". Over the years they began to appear in my arm pits after I moved to NZ from the UK, so I just assumed it was because I was sweating more in a hotter climate, but coming back to the UK they began to appear in my groin, thighs and buttocks too. Around 2013 I began getting cellulitis infections in my left leg about every 6 - 8 months, the first one was so aggressive it nearly took my leg, as the infection nearly reached the bone. Around 2017, I had a fairly mediocre cellulitis infection, went back to the GP, got some flucloxacillin and while I was there, asked if I could be referred back to a dermatologist, as I clearly had a worsening skin problem. The GP looked at me like I was dirt and said "No, the dermatologist waiting list is 12 months long and it's for people with REAL problems". about 12 months after that, ironically, I had another cellulitis infection in my leg, rang NHS 101 and they told me to wait til morning, rather than head to A&E or the Out of Hours GP at the hospital and just contact my GP in the morning. I did that, hobbled over to the surgery in severe pain and the second an actual doctor saw my leg, she 999'd and got me a blue light ride to hospital. The thing everyone who gets repeated infections fears, had finally hit me, Sepsis! For 9 days I had 3 different IV antibiotics pumped into me day and night and apparently, it was touch and go for a while. The doctors in the hospital thought this might be a good opportunity to refer me to a dermatologist now, as I had also shown them the remnants of the thousands of boils and abscesses and cysts I'd had over the years and they wondered if they might be linked to my repeat cellulitis...8 months later, I went to that dermatologist appointment and was diagnosed with HS. I was prescribed Dalacin T to use on flares both old and new, which got rid of lots of lingering infections I didn't even know I had and has actually turned out to be a good treatment for new flares, making them burst and drain much quicker than if left alone with no treatment and I have only had one cellulitis infection since, which was minor to say the least and went away with a 7 day course of Flucloxacillin.

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