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Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Hidradenitis Suppurativa is a chronic, recurrent inflammatory condition with painful skin nodules. It is characterized by persistent or recurrent boil-like nodules and abscesses that culminate in a purulent discharge, sinuses, and scarring. Although the exact cause is not yet understood, contributing factors include:

  • Friction from clothing and body folds​
  • Unusual immune response to normal body bacteria (commensals)

  • Occlusion of hair follicles (similar to acne)

  • Release of pro inflammatory molecules from the immune system

  • Secondary bacterial infections

  • Certain medications

  • Common areas include the armpits (axilla), groin, under the breasts, and abdominal folds

  • Much more common in women then men – about 1% of the population are affected


  • General measures:

    • Weight loss, low glycemic diet, low dairy diet

    • Smoking cessation

    • Loose fit clothing

    • Antiperspirants to keep skin folds dry, sometimes Botox can help with this

    • Dilute bleach baths if prone to infections

    • Antiseptic washes

    • Dressings and wound care 

    • Pain control with acetaminophen or ibuprofen as needed 


  • Topical/Oral Antibiotics​

  • Hormone based treatments such as the birth control pill, Spironolactone or Metformin​

  • Intralesional Steroid Injections​

  • Supplements

  • Immune System Suppressants​

  • Acne Medication​

  • Biologics​​

  • Surgical & Laser management, such as abscess drainage, deroofing, laser ablation, excision, ​and laser hair removal

To schedule a consultation with one of our Dermatologists regarding Hidradenitis Suppurativa, a doctor's referral is required.

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