24-year-old California woman nicknamed ‘Freddie Kruger’ by bullies for skin condition that causes boils

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A woman from California bullies cruelly nicknamed her “Freddy Kruger” because of the painful skin condition that left her with boils on her face.

Kira Archuleta, now 24, of Monteca, suffers from hydrodenitis suppurativa (HS), a condition similar to acne that causes painful lesions all over the body.

After appearing on the armpits, boils quickly spread to the face, groin and even under the breasts. If they burst, painful wounds the size of a hand will appear, which can take weeks to heal.

She was bedridden for ten months due to pain and had to be homeschooled. Doctors initially told her she just needed to “clean up better,” but three years later she was diagnosed with HS and hospitalized.

Ms Archuleta now feels more confident about her future, but says the disease could still flare up. She changed her diet – cut out red meat, dairy products and pork – takes warm showers daily and rubs witch hazel on her skin and moisturises. It comes after another victim, 25, from Dorset in the UK, revealed the open wounds felt like she had been burn with a hot iron.

She has scars on her face, armpits and under her breasts

Kira Archuleta, now 24, of Monteca, said the condition started when she was 14 years old. In the photo above, she shows scars on her face, armpits and under her breasts caused by the disease

HS is a painful condition in which small, boil-like lumps form under the skin. They usually appear in areas of friction such as the armpits, groin, buttocks and breasts.

The nodules may break open, causing sores on the skin that may take several weeks to heal. Tunnels can also appear between them.

In some cases, wounds can become infected, and patients may experience swelling of the hands, feet, and genitals. Those left untreated are also at greater risk of skin cancer.

The condition is caused by the blockage of hair follicles, which is believed to be related to genetics or hormones. Studies have also shown that obese people and smokers are at greater risk of the disease.

HS was previously thought to be rare, but now it is estimated that up to four in 100 Americans have the condition, equivalent to 13 million people.

Doctors now believe that more people have the condition because they include milder cases in their assessments, where isolated boils appear on the skin but no tunnels form.

In a tearful video posted on TikTok this month, Ms Archelleta showed viewers the scars on her body caused by the disease.

She showed the scars on her face, under her armpit and lifted her top to reveal the scars around her chest.

Breaking down in tears during the shoot, she wrote: “For years I felt disgusting. I just want to be normal!

“I’m not looking for people’s sympathy or pity, but I couldn’t hold back the tears.”

She added: “HS is not contagious! But despite that fact, people are still so quick to judge.”

Ms. Archuleta first contracted the condition when she was 14 years old and developed boils in her armpit.

Boils quickly began to spread, however, reaching her thighs, groin and face.

She said: “My boils were absolutely everywhere – on my groin, on my thighs, under my arms.

“I could just sit there and feel one of the blisters pop and that’s it – the pain would spread all over my body.”

When she tried to scratch them, the boils burst, creating painful sores.

She added: ‘I didn’t just have wounds, marks or damage – they were actual holes in my body.

“Some of them can fit a whole hand. The pain became so unbearable that I was bedridden for 10 months.”

She added: ‘It soon started to spread around my thighs and, due to the nature of my work [in a grocery store] it meant a lot of walking, standing on my feet all day – it became too tiring and I ended up not being able to do my job.

In the photo above, she talks about the condition on her TikTok channel

In the photo above, she talks about the condition on her TikTok channel

In the photo above, she talks about the condition on her TikTok channel

It took three years for doctors to diagnose her condition, and they initially sent her away, saying she just needed to “clean up better”.

Ms Archuleta said she was bedridden at home for ten months, cared for by her mother Tina, 48.

But as a result, they decided to take her to the hospital. Here, doctors gave her antibiotics and fentanyl through a drip to ease the pain. They also began to clean her wounds.

After ten days she was discharged.

To manage her condition, she was put on a course of doxycycline for flare-ups and is now starting Humira — a drug commonly used for arthritis — to ease the pain.

She also adopted a new skin care routine that includes a warm shower once a day, witch hazel and moisturizer.

And she eliminated red meat, pork and dairy products from her diet after discovering that they could lead to an exacerbation of the disease.

Describing her condition, she said: “For so long I was afraid to show my face because society told me it was ugly.

“People like me feel ostracized and forced to hide.

“It was three long years of increasing pain before I was finally diagnosed.”

Bullies compared her condition to Freddy Krueger, the evil spirit of a child killer

Bullies compared her condition to Freddy Krueger, the evil spirit of a child killer

She added, “I used to play softball at school and I had to give it up. I turned from this strong, sociable, athletic, cheerful person into a shell of my former self.

“Even as an adult, people still call me horrible names like Freddy Krueger.”

Ms. Archuleta has no known genetic problems that would put her at greater risk for the disease. But she had a family history of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

She said: “It’s more than just a condition – or even a disability. Hidradenitis Superativa is the plague.

“But above all, this state has taught me to be grateful. I feel more beautiful because I know I’m not alone. Finally there is a crowd I can fit into.

“I’m still here – and now, through TikTok, I have a platform to spread awareness about HS.”

She added: “I had my independence ripped away from me,” she said.

“It was so hard.

“Being bedridden isn’t quite life – my mum bathed me, changed my bandages and cooked me every morning.

“She did what no mother should do for a daughter who was in her 20s.”

“It got to the point where I just couldn’t live like this anymore,” she said.

“My mom was in agony watching me go through the pain.

“I didn’t want to live. But after 10 months, she decided to put me in the hospital.”

She was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California, USA, and was kept there for seven nights.

What is hidradenitis suppurativa (HS)?

HS is a painful condition in which small, boil-like lumps usually form under the skin in places where it rubs against each other, such as the armpits, groin, buttocks and breasts.

The nodules can become inflamed and rupture, leaving sores on the skin that can take weeks to heal. They can also form tunnels between themselves.

In more severe cases, patients may suffer from infections and swelling of the hands, feet and genitals. Patients who have not been treated are also at greater risk of skin cancer.

The condition is caused by the blockage of hair follicles, which is believed to be related to genetics or hormones. Studies have also shown that obese people and smokers are at greater risk of the disease.

HS used to be considered a rare disease, but now it is estimated that up to four in 100 Americans have the condition, equivalent to 13 million people.

The increase in prevalence is due to the fact that doctors began to recognize milder cases, when single boils appear on the skin, but no tunnel is formed between them.

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