Your doctor might want you to take antibiotics by mouth. It's not because you have an infection, though HS can sometimes cause a secondary infection.
It’s unclear exactly how antibiotics work on HS. Experts think it could be because of the way antibiotics affect bacteria. They might also change the way your body reacts to what’s on or under your skin. That change seems to calm inflammation, which eases symptoms.
You may only need to take antibiotics for a week or 10 days. But if your condition is serious, you may have to use them for a few months or up to a year. Your doctor will decide.
Some common antibiotics used for HS include:
- Doxycycline (Doxy-100, Monodox, Targadox)
- Erythromycin (E.E.S. 400)
- Minocycline (Minocin)
- Rifampin (Rifadin)
- Tetracycline (Sumycin)
- Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim)
As long as you don’t have an infection, your doctor might give you a shot of a corticosteroid called triamcinolone. They’ll put it inside your HS lesion. It can ease inflammation, help your lesions heal, and help keep new ones from popping up.
It can be a good option if you only have one or two affected areas that don’t come back very often.
If you have a serious flare and need to get it under control, your doctor might suggest that you take oral steroids for 10-14 days. But steroids can cause unwanted side effects, so doctors won't suggest them as a long-term treatment for HS.