A Glasgow woman who feared she had contracted a sexually transmitted infection (STI) learned her symptoms were indicators of an incurable skin condition.
Esme Munro developed painful lumps around her groin as a teenager and thought her boyfriend gave her a contagious genital herpes. It was only in her 20s when doctors diagnosed her with chronic skin hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), a condition that causes "abscesses on the groin, buttocks, breasts and armpits", according to the Daily Mail.
Her condition grew worse causing the lumps to show up all over her body. The pain made it difficult for her to walk and even sit comfortably. Since no treatment was helpful she had to quit her business and register as disabled.
HS is so rare it affects only a percentage of the population. People are often misdiagnosed because people are too embarrassed to seek help medically.
While there is no cure, treatment is necessary to reduce flare-ups.
According to NHS smoking and obesity are associated with HS and can make your symptoms worse. People with this condition have issues with acne and excessive hair growth. Symptoms usually start occurring around puberty.