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Hidradenitis Suppurativa (Acne Inversa) Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Synopsis: Information regarding Hidradenitis suppurativa, a form of chronic skin condition featuring lumps underneath the skin.1

Author: Disabled World Contact: Disabled World (

Published: 2015-07-08 Updated: 2020-09-16

Key Points:

Hidradenitis suppurativa usually occurs around a person's hair follicles, where a number of sweat and oil glands are found such as in the person's groin, armpit and anal area.

There is currently no cure for hidradenitis suppurativa, although early treatment can help manage the symptoms and might prevent new lesions from developing.

Main Digest

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) - also known as acne inversa - is a common chronic skin disease characterized by clusters of abscesses or subcutaneous boil-like infections that most commonly affects apocrine sweat gland bearing areas, such as the underarms, under the breasts, inner thighs, groin and buttocks. The lumps associated with hidradenitis suppurativa are often times painful and might break open and drain bad-smelling pus. In some cases, tunnels connecting the lumps form under the person's skin. Hydrant's suppurativa is not contagious. There are indications that it is hereditary among certain ethnic groups and autoimmune in nature. HS onset is most common in the late teens and early 20's.

Recent regional and insurance database studies indicate that diagnoses of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) are rare, with fewer than 200,000 affected patients in the United States. These findings are at odds with the generally accepted prevalence of approximately 1%.

Symptoms of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Hidradenitis suppurativa usually occurs around a person's hair follicles, where a number of sweat and oil glands are found such as in the person's groin, armpit and anal area. It might also happen in areas where the person's skin rubs together such as under a person's breasts, on their inner thighs, or between their buttocks. Hidradenitis suppurativa may affect one area of the person's body, or it may affect several areas. The signs and symptoms of the condition can include the following:

Hidradenitis suppurativa often begins after a person reaches puberty with a single, painful bump that persists for weeks or even months. For some, the disease progressively worsens and affects a number of areas on their body. Others experience mild symptoms. Extra weight, hormonal changes, stress, excessive perspiration and heat may worsen a person's symptoms. Mild instances of hidradenitis suppurativa may be treated with self-care measures. Contact your doctor if the condition:


Hidradenitis suppurativa develops when hair follicles become blocked and inflamed. It is not known why this blockage happens, yet a number of factors to include genetics, hormones, cigarette smoking and extra weight might all play a role. Hidradenitis suppurativa affects approximately one percent of the population. Factors that might increase your risk can include:


Hidradenitis suppurativa often times causes complications when the disease is severe and persistent. The complications might include the following:

Testing, Diagnosis, Treatment and Medications

A diagnosis of hidradenitis suppurativa may be achieved by examining the affected person's skin. If drainage or pus are present, a doctor may send a sample of the fluid to a laboratory for testing. There is no cure for hidradenitis suppurativa, although early treatment can help manage the symptoms and might prevent new lesions from developing. Where medications are concerned, a doctor might suggest trying one or more of the following types of medications:

For severe or persistent instances, or for deep lesions, surgery might become necessary. What follows are descriptions of some of these procedures.

Home Remedies

There are some different home remedies you can pursue in order to relieve discomfort, speed healing and prevent the infection from spreading. For example; you can apply warm compresses. A warm washcloth or compress can help to reduce the swelling. Other things you can do at home include:

Support and Coping

Hidradenitis suppurativa can be unsightly, painful and - if the lesions are draining, foul smelling. The ongoing persistent nature of the disease and the treatment challenges simply add to the person's burden. They may feel anxious or embarrassed about their symptoms and become self-conscious or withdrawn. They might be frustrated or upset by the reactions of others.

Family members and friends can help a person with this disease greatly as they go through a difficult time. At times though, support from others may not be enough. A professional counselor may be able to suggest different coping strategies to help the person feel better about their situation. A person with this disease may find the concern and understanding of others with the disease to be particularly comforting. Online support groups can connect an affected person with others who are living with hidradenitis suppurativa.

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Cite Page: Journal: Disabled World. Language: English (U.S.). Author: Disabled World. Electronic Publication Date: 2015-07-08 - Revised: 2020-09-16. Title: Hidradenitis Suppurativa (Acne Inversa) Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, Source: <a href=>Hidradenitis Suppurativa (Acne Inversa) Causes, Symptoms, Treatments</a>. Retrieved 2021-03-03, from - Reference: DW#140-11476.