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What is hidradenitis suppurativa?

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic disease of a type of sweat gland. While hidradenitis suppurativa is focused most commonly in the armpits it can occur in one or multiple areas of the body including the groin and anal area. If untreated, hidradenitis suppurativa symptoms will continue, and can include long-term, often painful skin inflammation.

Our approach

Treatments for hidradenitis suppurativa include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medicines and sometimes surgery. Losing weight and wearing loose clothing can help, too


Hidradenitis suppurativa symptoms can include:

  • Blackheads and red, tender bumps (abscesses); abscesses will grow over time, eventually breaking open and leaking pus
  • Tunnels that form under the skin between abscesses
  • Scarring


Hidradenitis suppurativa causes are not currently known. Research has shown that it is more common in women, African-Americans and people who have a history of acne. The starting point also varies from patient to patient however individuals typically begin to show hidradenitis suppurativa symptoms in the later teenage years.

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