What is Hidradenitis Suppurativa?
Also known as acne inversa, this condition is characterized by small lumps deep beneath the skin. Typically, the lumps range from the size of peas to the size of marbles, and they are usually tender or painful. Blackheads may also develop in the affected area, often in pairs.
Causes of Hidradenitis Suppurativa
This is a chronic condition affecting the sweat glands, which usually develops in puberty. In many individuals, it can persist for many years. There are several potential causes, including hormones, tobacco use, weight gain, and genetic susceptibility.
Apocrine sweat glands, hair follicles, and oil glands become clogged by debris such as dead skin cells and sweat. These materials become trapped, creating pressure. Any skin injury that allows bacteria to enter can lead to infection, and the accompanying inflammation.
Symptoms of Hidradenitis Suppurativa
Hidradenitis Suppurativa can develop on any area of the body, but it is most common in areas with many sweat glands, and those where the skin rubs causing friction. It may occur in the armpits, anal area, groin, under breasts, or buttocks area.
The signs include:
- Blackheads – These appear in pitted areas of the skin. Often two blackheads are seen side by side.
- Tender, red bumps – These bumps tend to grow until they break open and drain pus. They may hurt, burn, or itch.
- Hard, painful lumps – These are hard and about the size of a pea. They may become inflamed, and sometimes persist for several years.
- Leaking sores or bumps – These open wounds heal slowly, if at all. They can cause scarring, which may lead to recurring abscesses.
Treatment for Hidradenitis Suppurativa at Dr. W Dermatology
We will recommend the best treatment option depending on the severity of the condition. Mild outbreaks can usually be cleared up with simple measures such as cleansing and using warm compresses. If the condition is more severe, we may treat it with topical or oral medications such as antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. In rare cases, surgical removal may be needed.
If you suffer from Hidradenitis Suppurativa, or any other skin condition that is having a negative effect on your life, let us help. Dr. W Dermatology has an office in Houston. Call us at (281) 771-0494 to schedule an appointment.