Symptoms of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Aug 20, 2014

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Quick Bites

  • HS is a condition of the skin that starts with breakouts.
  • These breakouts may vanish and reappear.
  • They usually develop on the creases of the skin.
  • They can appear and reappear on the exact same spot.

Hidradentitis suppurative is a medical condition of the skin that is marked by breakouts on the skin that appear like boils or pimples. The skin may clear for a bit, but the patient my notice the breakouts developing in the same area after a while.

Unlike pimples that break out from time to time, hidradenitis suppurativa forms in those areas of the skin that touch the skin. Some of the most common areas where it develops include:

•    One or both underarms
•    Buttocks
•    Groin  i.e. the genitals, around the anus as well as surrounding areas
•    Women’s breasts, mostly underneath and sometimes, on the breasts.
•    Upper the thighs


Although, it is a rare condition, some studies have found HS to be developing near the ear, on the back of the neck or around the bellybutton. Women are likely to get breakouts on their genitals as well as upper thighs while men are more likely to get them on their genitals and/or around the anus. There can be cases of people developing breakouts in the exact same position from time to time. In others, the breakouts may seem to develop in the same area but not in the exact same spot.

Early Signs

In the first few days of HS, the patient will see:
•    One or more breakouts that appear like pimples or boils
•    The breakouts may either stay on the skin or clear and later reappear.

Later Signs

If the patient does not seek timely treatment, the pimples or HS may get worse. And if the disease gets worse, the patient may develop:
•    Breakouts that rupture and leak fluid that is foul-smelling
•    Deep, painful breakouts that heal but reappear
•    Scars that thicken with time
•    Scars that develop into breakouts that heal and reappear
•    Skin cancer in rare cases
•    Skin that starts to look spongy like tunnel tracks from deep inside the skin.

It is important to note that the signs and symptoms of diseases can change quite quickly. For instance, one week the breakouts may leak a foul-smelling fluid and the next week, they may have healed and the only symptom for diagnosis of HS would be scars.


Read more articles on Understand Hidradenitis Suppurativa.

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