What is Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

Hidradenitis Suppurativa is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the skin and subcutaneous tissue of the underarm, groin, buttocks, genitals, and breast regions.

Who is at risk for Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

Hidradenitis suppurativa is typically diagnosed in the women during their 20s and 30s. This disease is three times more common in women compared to men.

What causes Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

The cause of hidradenitis suppurativa is unknown; however, we do believe there is a hormonal and genetic cause. The sweat gland becomes plugged and typically a secondary bacterial infection will follow.

Are there other conditions associated with Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

There are significant associations with: insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, acne, comedones, hirsutism, obesity and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

What are the signs and symptoms of Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

Severity of this disease varies among patients. Patients will present with recurrent, tender bumps underneath the skin or even deep abscesses. You can see scarring and thickening of the skin in the affected areas. Classically, a blackhead with two or more openings that communicates below the skin’s surface will be present. Patient can have these “double comedones” for years without any other symptoms.

How is Hidradenitis Suppurativa diagnosed?

The diagnosis is clinical. This is widely underdiagnosed and many patients will see at least 3 providers before it is properly diagnosed. Dermatology providers are apt to recognize the condition much sooner.
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