Dorset woman raises awareness for rare chronic skin condition

Dorset woman raises awareness for rare chronic skin condition

Published at 12:36pm 16th May 2020. (Updated at 11:12am 25th May 2020)

Elise Axon, from Wool, is raising awareness for Hidradenitis Suppurativa. 

She was diagnosed with the condition when she seven years old, it's not hereditary but both her mum and her grandmother from her father's side of the family suffer from it.

Elise says it became progressively worse when she was about 16 years old and was being prescribed multiple antibiotics:

"I saw about four or five dermatologists and then when I turned 18, I'd had enough I didn't feel supported. 

"Due to the pain the boils were causing, I had four surgeries to cut out areas on my body. I've had both my underarms removed.

"That's when I stopped taking medication and having treatments because it felt like a never-ending battle and you're not going anywhere."

What is Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

The skin condition causes a mixture of abscess', boils and scarring on the skin usually around the groin, breasts and armpits.

They will appear on areas where there are more sweat glands, making lumps particularly painful.  

Skin Condition
What it can look like

More women than men tend to suffer from the condition, and it affects 1% of the population. 

Last year Elise was contacted by a production company to go on a TV Programme and try some new medication at Harley Street. 

"The message came out of the blue asking if I wanted to have some free treatment. At first, I was going to say no, but I thought I'd take this as a positive and raise awareness of the condition to get people talking about it.

"People are ashamed of the condition, and I wanted to have the opportunity to say to them, don't be ashamed."

Setting up an Instagram page

Elise started an Instagram page to document her journey and attracted around 600 followers with 95% of them suffering from the same skin condition. 

"My mission is to raise awareness; I'm a hairdresser and I now can't work full time because when you've got open wounds, you're in a lot of pain and it's difficult to lift your arms.

"HS Awareness week runs from 1st to 7th June, this year's theme is 'out in the open.

"I'll be sharing someone's story every day of HS awareness week to get people to talk about it."

To follow Elise's journey, here's her Instagram: