Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic skin condition characterised by pea-sized to marble-sized lumps under the skin. Also referred to as acne inversa, the deep-seated lumps develop where skin rubs together such as the armpits, groin, between the buttocks and under the breasts. The lumps of hidradenitis suppurativa are painful and may break open and drain foul-smelling pus. In several cases, tunnels connecting the lumps will form under the skin.
The skin condition starts after puberty, persist for years and worsen over time. Early diagnosis and treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa can help manage the symptoms and prevent new lesions from developing.
The skin condition affects area around hair follicles, where many oil and sweat glands are found. The armpits, groin and anal area are the most affected areas, usually the area where skin rubs together such as the inner thighs, under the breasts or between the buttocks. The condition may affect a single area or several areas of the body.
The common symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa are blackheads (often in pairs), red bumps that are tender, painful lumps and scarring under the skin. The signs of hidradenitis suppurativa can persist for weeks or months. The disease progressively worsens and may affect multiple areas of the body. The less common hidradenitis suppurativa symptoms include excess weight, stress, hormonal changes and heat or excessive perspiration
When to see a doctor
Those with mild hidradenitis suppurativa may be treated with self-care measures. You must seek medical advice if the condition is painful, doesn't improve in a few weeks, returns within weeks of treatment, appears in several locations and recurs.
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