(Acne Conglobata; Acne Inversa [AI]; Apocrine Acne; Apocrinitis; Fox-Den Disease; HS; Hydradenitis Suppurativa; Pyodermia Significa Fistulans; Velpeau's Disease; Verneuil's Disease)
DefinitionHidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is an inflammatory condition of the hair follicle. Recurrent, inflamed nodules and cysts form in the armpits and groin. These may also be found under the breasts, and around the nipples and anus. Less commonly other areas of the body can be affected.
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CausesThe hair follicle becomes blocked causing inflammation of the sweat glands. The blockage may lead to absesses, infection, or scarring.
Risk FactorsHS is more common in women than in men. Other factors that increase your chance of HS include:
- Family history
- Current or history of smoking
- Metabolic syndrome—a condition marked by elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, and body weight
- Lipid disorders, including low HDL (good) cholesterol levels and/or high triglycerides
SymptomsHS may cause:
- Burning, itching, or painful lumps in the armpits, groin, under the breasts, around the nipples or anus, and other involved areas
- Pus leaking from openings in the lumps
- Excessive sweating
DiagnosisYou will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. In most cases, the doctor will be able to make a diagnosis by looking at the nodules.
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