Which is true?
HS most commonly occurs in women between the ages of 22 and 40.
It is rare that HS occurs before puberty.
It is rare that HS occurs after menopause.
None of the above are true.
Answer: 4, none are true.
True or False: You should believe everything you read on the internet.
Answer: True (kidding, NOT true).
There is so much invalid information floating around websites or FaceBook groups that people take as truth, which can be dangerous.
The age ranges of those with HS vary greatly. In most cases the 'typical' age groups represent when people were diagnosed, not when they began experiencing symptoms. In many cases it has taken people years to get a diagnosis. It may also have taken quite some time for the patient to see a physician regarding their condition, or they could have been misdiagnosed originally.
In North America we see more women than men with HS in general, but are unsure if that is accurate world wide. In some Eastern countries HS impacts men at a higher rate than women. Please read more about the HS prevalence in males here. We know that there are societal and ethnic factors that play a role in who seeks treatment. You can view the map outlining HS statistics by continent here.
It could also be, as mentioned above, that men or certain ethnicities don't seek treatment as often or at all for their HS, may have been misdiagnosed, etc. It is also widely accepted as fact that women are more likely to go to the doctor as opposed to men, not just for hidradenitis suppurativa, but for other issues as well. Naturally the percentage is going to be higher based on the above, in addition, women speak out more and communicate more, both with each other and publicly, so it will appear that it affects more women than men and some ethnicities more than others.
We will never know with 100% accuracy how many HS sufferers are out there. We will not know which gender, race, or age is more commonly afflicted with all of the factors at play. When it comes to statistical HS studies, keep in mind they have yet to do a very large across-the-board global study for this disease, so none of the data is truly accurate. Please participate in any and all HS surveys or studies when you have an opportunity to so we can ensure that all who suffer are accounted for and we get a true prevalence of HS in the world.
Content in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking treatment because of something you have read on this website.
Written by Denise Panter-Fixsen
Edited by Brindley Kons