Hidradenitis Suppurativa

What is Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS)?

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a skin condition that causes painful bumps to form in the hair roots near the sweat glands. It often affects areas where the skin rubs together, such as the armpits and groin. These bumps can become inflamed, painful and often break open, causing abscesses that leak fluid and pus.

Symptoms of Hidradenitis Suppurativa:

Hidradenitis suppurativa usually occurs in areas where there is hair or where the skin rubs together. Common signs and symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa include:

  • Small, pitted areas of skin containing blackheads
  • Painful, red lumps
  • Abscesses that heal very slowly

Causes of Hidradenitis Suppurativa:

The exact cause of hidradenitis suppurativa is unknown. However, it develops when hair follicles in the skin become blocked, which can trap bacteria, leading to inflammation and rupture. Genetics, environment and hormonal factors may play a role in developing hidradenitis suppurativa. Common risk factors for hidradenitis suppurativa include:

  • Being a woman
  • Having a family history of this condition
  • Being overweight or obese
  • History of smoking

Treatment for Hidradenitis Suppurativa:

There is no cure at this time for hidradenitis suppurativa. In most cases, treatment aims to relieve symptoms. Treatment options may include:

  • Medications – NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), antibiotics, corticosteroids
  • Topical treatments – Topical corticosteroids, topical retinoids, anthralin and moisturizers.
  • Systemic medications – Biologic therapy, oral immune suppressants, and oral retinoids.
  • Light therapy – UVA and UVB light

Most individuals with moderate to severe hidradenitis suppurativa will benefit from a combination of treatments. At ForCare Dermatology, we can help you manage your hidradenitis suppurativa and find relief today.