What is hidradenitis suppurativa?

Hidradenitis suppurativa, commonly referred to as “HS,” is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the hair follicles. The resulting deep, painful lumps can often be misdiagnosed as boils, folliculitis, ingrown hairs, staph infection or STIs.

Although it can occur in people of any ethnicity or age, HS is most common in women, African Americans, young adults, and those with a family history of the disease. It is associated with obesity and tobacco use, as well as other skin conditions, such as acne conglobate, pilonidal cysts, dissecting cellulitis and inflammatory bowel disease.

What causes hidradenitis suppurativa?

Unfortunately, medical experts still don’t know the cause of HS.

Where does it occur?

These swollen, painful bumps on the body often appear in places where the skin often rubs together, such as:

  • Armpits
  • On or under breasts
  • Groin area
  • Inner thighs
  • Buttocks
  • Around or near the anus
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What are the symptoms?

The bumps may drain smelly pus or blood. They can last for weeks to months and can refill or recur. If left untreated, the bumps can begin to tunnel under the skin, causing sinus tracts.

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