What is the treatment of Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 01, 2011

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Quick Bites

  • The condition causes boils, breakouts and scars on the skin.
  • The actual cause is not known.
  • Treatment usually include medications and local hygiene.
  • In severe cases surgical procedures are recommended.

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic disabling disorder of the terminal follicular epithelium in the apocrine gland–bearing skin disease that usually causes pimple-like bumps, keloids, contractures, and immobility. The condition doesn’t affect the face or back and is most common on the underarms and groin. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the condition from worsening.

Hidradenitis suppurativa

Sign & Symptoms

Common signs of the condition include pimple like breakouts or boils, painful deep breakouts, breakouts that leak foul-smelling fluid, infections, and scars. The signs and symptoms are usually inconsistent and change quickly.

Hidradenitis suppurativa is most common in obese people, smokers, and women. It is least common in children. Scientists don’t know the exact cause of the condition however it is usually associated with hormones and immune system. Is has also been found that the disease is not contagious and poor hygiene doesn’t cause it.

The symptoms usually begin in the hair follicles when the follicles get clogged with bacteria.
Lifestyle also plays a role in the development of the condition as smoking, being overweight, or taking lithium may trigger the symptoms however these things do not cause the conditions itself.


The medical treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa usually includes improving local hygiene and ordinary hygiene, weight reduction in obese patients, anti-inflammatory or antiandrogen antibiotics, antiseptic and antiperspirant agents, wearing loose clothing, hair removal, quitting smoking, hormone therapy and biologic therapy. Wound dressings are also used to treat tunnels beneath the skin that are caused by the condition.

When the disease gets worse medicine may not be that effective in treating it. In such cases, dermatologists usually recommend a surgical procedure such as a laser surgery, deroofing, drain or incise, and excision.

How to Manage it?

Lose weight to effectively manage hidradenitis suppurativa. Being overweight, losing weight put you ate higher risk for the disease. It can also help you with your treatment. It has been observed that losing weight also reduces the symptoms. You should also quit smoking to reduce the symptoms and the severity of the condition.
Stop shaving near the symptoms as it can irritate the skin. Ask your dermatologist for a solution to remove the hair safely. Wear loose-fitting clothes to reduce friction. Tight waistbands and form-fitting clothes tend to rub against your skin and worsen the problem. Also keep your skin cool.

Image Courtesy : Getty

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