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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Hidradenitis suppurativa


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Acne inversa
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What are the signs and symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa?

Hidradenitis is the medical term for inflammation of hair follicles, oil (sebaceous) ducts, and sweat glands in the skin. The term suppurativa means that the infection causes pus to form. Those with HS develop hidradenitis due to obstruction of hair follicles, which causes secondary infection and inflammation of the apocrine glands. The lesions most commonly develop in the groin and axillae (under arms). The typical lesion is a painful inflammatory papule (small, solid, raised skin lesion), nodule, or abscess (pus-filled inflamed tissue). Affected individuals may experience pain, scarring, recurrent discharge, and smell from the lesions. It is thought that hidradenitis can be aggravated by stress, heat, sweating, or friction. Persistent lesions may lead to the formation of sinus tracts, or tunnels connecting the abscesses under the skin. At this stage, progression of the disease, bacterial infection, and cellulites (deep tissue inflammation) in the area are also likely.[1]
Last updated: 6/7/2011

  1. Pokala N & Geibe J. Surgery for Hidradenitis Suppurativa . eMedicine Journal. April 2008; Accessed 6/7/2011.