Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by inflamed areas where the Apocrine sweat glands are located; underarms, under the breasts, in the buttocks, and groin, though it may occur anywhere there is hair.
Mild cases of HS commonly present as pimple-like bumps on the skin, in places pimples don’t usually appear. More severe cases can have deep recurrent abscesses, which will sometimes release fluid, and become chronic lesions. As these deep wounds heal and scar some people develop tunnel-like tracts under their skin.Severe forms of HS are often very painful and interfere with the quality of life of those living with the disease.
HS is estimated to affect 1-4% of the population because the condition is often misdiagnosed and many who live with Hidradenitis Suppurativa don’t always feel comfortable talking about their symptoms or seeking a dermatologist for help. Some common misdiagnoses are ingrown hairs, folliculitis, cellulitis, and Staph Infection.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa is considered a progressive disease meaning it can worsen over time. As a result early diagnosis and management are key. If you think you have HS ask your doctor for a referral to a dermatologist to get an accurate diagnosis.