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Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS)

Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS)

What is HS?

Hidradenitis suppurativa, commonly referred to as “HS,” is a chronic,
inflammatory disease of the hair follicles. The resulting deep and 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, it is most common in women, African Americans, young adults, and those with a family history of HS. It is associated with obesity and tobacco use, as well as other skin conditions (acne conglobate, pilonidal cysts, dissecting cellulitis) and inflammatory bowel disease.

What causes HS?

Unfortunately, we still don’t know.

What are the symptoms?

Swollen, painful bumps on the body that 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


Image of person with 3 closeups of HS affected areas


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

The HS Clinic is open every other Tuesday at our Norfolk location

721 Fairfax Avenue, Suite 200

Norfolk, VA 2350

Please call 757-446-5629 to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa Treatments

Additonal Resources