Hidradenitis suppurativa

What is hidradenitis suppurativa?


Hidradenitis suppurativa is a rare, chronic skin condition appearing as small, painful lumps below the skin. Usually is developed where the skin rubs together such as the armpits, groin, between the buttocks and below the breast area. It is a blockage and inflammation of hair follicles leading to the formation of these painful lumps under the skin.

Hidradenitis suppurativa tends to start after puberty and can linger for many years as well as worsen. Symptoms are typically managed by treatment and controlling the formation of these lumps as well as preventing complications, such as scarring and depression.



Who is impacted?


Factors that may increase your risk of developing Hidradenitis suppurativa are:

  • Age (between ages 20 to 29)
  • Gender–females are more prone than males
  • Family history
  • If you already have one of the following conditions:
    • Arthritis
    • Severe acne
    • Obesity
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Crohn’s disease
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • Diabetes
  • Smoking



How is hidradenitis suppurativa diagnosed?


Diagnosis is typically done by a physician examining the affected skin and taking your medical history. No laboratory test is available to diagnose hidradenitis suppurativa. But if pus or drainage is present, sample of the fluid may be taken and sent for testing rule out an infection and other skin disorders.



How is hidradenitis suppurativa treated?


There is no cure for this condition, but early and long-term treatment may help control the pain, promote wound healing, prevent new lumps from forming and prevent complications.


Treatment options available are as follows:

  • Topical and oral drugs → these include antibiotics Vitamin A derivatives (retinoids)
  • Other drugs that reduce inflammation
    • Injectable and oral steroids
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Biologics (Immunosuppressants)
    • These medications work by neutralizing an immune system protein known as tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Possible adverse effects include increased risk of infection, heart failure and certain types of cancers.
  • Pain medication