It took years for me to be properly diagnosed. I have had it likely since puberty but I was properly diagnosed in my mid twenties. The worst part about growing up with this was the uncertainty and fear of people finding out. Once, I was changing in a locker room at school and another girl saw bandages under my breasts where I had weeping open areas. She looked terrified and asked if I was ok. I was so embarrassed. Other people thought I had a rash. I was not properly diagnosed until my doctor called her associate who is a dermatologist into the room to check my skin. The mental pain of others knowing sometimes makes it hard for me when the disease flares badly. But my wonderful husband who took the journey with me literally from the beginning when we were kids has been my greatest strength and advocate. He's never been disgusted by my HS and everyone needs someone like that. Now I know I'm not alone and wanted to share my story.