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Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is hidradenitis suppurativa?

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic (long-term) skin disease that causes your sweat glands or hair follicles to get clogged and inflamed. HS causes red bumps that look like pimples or small boils to develop on your skin. The cause of HS is unknown. It may run in families. Being overweight and smoking worsens signs and symptoms of HS.

What are the signs and symptoms of HS?

HS usually occurs in areas around skin folds or where sweat glands or hair follicles are. This includes the armpits, groin, genital or anal area, and under breasts in women. Your signs and symptoms may come and go. They may also get worse over time. You may have any of the following:

How is HS diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and examine your skin. The provider will diagnose HS based on your signs and symptoms.

How is HS treated?

The goal of treatment is to control symptoms, prevent the development of new bumps, and limit scarring. You may need any of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

How can I manage symptoms and decrease flare-ups?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.