Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a disease that results in deep and painful lumps under the skin, often in the armpits or groin. They may also be found under the breasts and between the buttocks.
|Skin, Hair, Hair Follicle|
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HS happens when hair follicles become blocked. It is not known why this happens.
Genes, the environment, and problems with the immune system may also play a role.
HS is more common in women. Other things that may raise the risk are:
The problem often starts when a person is in their 20s. Problems may be:
- Burning, itching, or painful lumps in the armpits, groin, under the breasts, or between the buttocks
- Pus leaking from breaks in the lumps
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on your skin. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
The goal of care is to control outbreaks. Options are:
- Lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and wearing loose clothing
- Medicines, such as:
- Biologic agents
- Hormonal therapy
People with severe symptoms may need a surgery or procedure to remove the painful lumps.
American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org
Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation http://www.hs-foundation.org
Canadian Dermatology Association https://www.dermatology.ca
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
Hidradenitis suppurativa. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hidradenitis-suppurativa. Accessed October 23, 2020.
Hidradenitis suppurativa. NORD—National Organization of Rare Diseases website. Available at: https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/hidradenitis-suppurativa. Accessed October 23, 2020.
Zouboulis CC, Desai N, et al. European S1 guideline for the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa/acne inversa. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2015 Apr;29(4):619-644.
11/30/2015 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hidradenitis-suppurativa: Tzellos T, Zouboulis CC, et al. Cardiovascular disease risk factors in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Br J Dermatol 2015;173(5):1142-1155.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
- Review Date: 09/2020
- Update Date: 05/19/2021