May also be called: Hidradenitis Suppurativa, HS, Acne Inversa, AI, Suppurative
Hidradenitis, Verneuil Disease
Hidradenitis (hi-drad-uh-NYE-tis) is a chronic skin condition that can cause painful,
swollen bumps to develop in areas where skin rubs together, such as the armpits, groin,
between the buttocks, or under the breasts.
More to Know
Hidradenitis (commonly known as hidradenitis suppurativa or acne inversa) develops
when hair follicles become blocked and irritated. Doctors don’t know what causes
this, but factors such as smoking, being overweight,
having a relative with hidradenitis, and being female can increase a person’s
risk. Hidradenitis usually starts between puberty
and age 40, and women are more than 3 times more likely to get it than men. Hidradenitis
is rare in women who have gone through menopause or people over 55.
Early signs of hidradenitis include one or several breakouts that look like pimples
or boils. As the condition progresses, painful, pea-sized lumps can form deep in the
skin, and red lesions can form on the skin. These lesions can itch and burn, and they
may break open and drain foul-smelling pus. Scar tissue can form and make moving the
arms or walking more difficult. In some cases, tunnels connecting the lumps may form
under the skin. Due to the pain, odor, discharge, and disfigurement it causes, hidradenitis
can also lead to depression
and other psychological issues.
Hidradenitis may appear to go away and come back, but there is no cure for the
condition, and it rarely goes away on its own. Treatment usually involves medicines
to help control symptoms and prevent new breakouts. Severe cases may be treated with
surgery to remove
the affected areas of skin, although this may not prevent the condition from coming
back or occurring in other areas.
Keep in Mind
Although hidradenitis can’t be cured and may last for years, treatment can
help clear or reduce breakouts, prevent new breakouts, and help prevent the formation
of scar tissue or tunnels under the skin. It’s important for people with hidradenitis
to seek treatment right away to help stop the condition from getting worse.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical