Hidradenitis Suppuritiva (HS)

This chronic disease causes painful, inflamed and swollen lesions in areas of the body where hair grows – such as the armpits, groin, anal regions and skin folds, including around the breasts. These lesions become infected, causing pus-filled pockets to form under the skin which eventually turn into hard lumps producing a constant discharge. Even once the area heals, patients usually experience significant scarring and repeat occurrences.


While there is no permanent cure, there are several HS treatments that help patients manage the symptoms.

HS usually starts during adolescent years but is often not diagnosed until adulthood. There are a few risk factors that increase the risk, including:

  • Being female
  • Smoking
  • High levels of stress
  • Obesity
  • Hormonal changes

It is recommended that patients contact a dermatologist if they are experiencing these symptoms:

  • Blackheads that appear in a double-barrelled pattern
  • Red bumps filled with fluid
  • Hard, painful lumps under the skin
  • Any seepage of pus from under the skin

There are many treatments for HS. A dermatologist at Q Dermatology will discuss your options and consider the new injectable to treat HS, the many oral and topical medications available and new surgical techniques to remove the lesions, abscesses and scarring.

Patients can also help themselves by following a healthy lifestyle: concentrating on good hygiene in the affected areas and losing weight. Warm salt-water compresses and avoiding tight clothes also help with minimising symptoms and managing pain.

The Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation, Inc.