We now have an FAQ list that we hope will help you answer some of the more common ones.
That painful lump you have could be Hidradenitis suppurativa Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic, recurrent, and painful disease in which there is inflammation in areas of the apocrine sweat glands. These glands are found mainly in the armpits and groins. There is a blockage of the hair follicles which cause boil-like lumps and scarring.
Q-What causes hidradenitis suppurativa?
It is still not clear why some people get this disease, but blockage of the pilosebaceous orifice
plays a major part.
Other contributory factors include the following:
1. Hormonal: Hormones may be involved in the control of apocrine sweat glands and certainly play
a part in the disease. Hidradenitis suppurativa affects women more than men. It does not start before
puberty or after the menopause. It may get better during pregnancy but is often worse before
2.Hyperactive immunity – The immune system is involved in some way with the severity of
Hidradenitis and treatments that reduce the immune system activity have been helpful in occasional
There is seen in association with acne and pilonidal sinus (a chronic abscess at the base of the spine).
3. Smoking and obesity are strongly associated with this condition and may make it worse.
4. Poor hygiene does not cause hidradenitis suppurativa.
Q-Is hidradenitis suppurativa hereditary?
Hidradenitis suppurativa runs in the families of about one third of those with the condition.
Q-Is Hidradenitis suppurativa contagious?
No, it can’t be passed on to another person by contact.
Q-What are the symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa?
Hidradenitis suppurativa is usually painful and often presents with painful lumps discharging
pus. The main areas affected are the armpits, and the skin of the groin, genital and pubic regions. In
the affected areas, the skin shows a variable mixture of blackheads, red lumps looking like boils,
pus spots, cysts, and areas that constantly leak pus (sinuses). As time goes by, more and more
Q-How will hidradenitis suppurativa be diagnosed?
The diagnosis is mainly clinical. Your doctor may take swabs for pus culture from the area to
isolate the type of bacteria. The condition is often misdiagnosed initially as a boil, infection or
folliculitis; this can result in delayed treatment and progression of the disease with scarring.
Q-Can hidradenitis suppurativa be cured?
No, it usually persists for many years, but can become inactive eventually. Treatment usually
helps even though it cannot switch the hidradenitis off once and for all.
Q-How can hidradenitis suppurativa be treated?
Treatment is tailored for each individual. In general terms, early hidradenitis suppurativa is
usually treated medically, whereas more longstanding and severe hidradenitis suppurativa can
sometimes benefit from surgery as well, especially if there are only one or two areas affected.
Q- Any set of precautions that would help me?
Few precautions that can mitigate the suffering include
1. Avoid tight clothing especially the undergarments. Prefer cotton or linen as the fabric.
2. Stop smoking
3.Loss of weight and managing stress better.
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