Hidradenitis Suppurativa Q&A

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by intensely painful, draining nodules (solid, raised bumps), abscesses (red, swollen, warm, tender bumps or lumps with pus inside), and tunnels (holes in the skin that may contain fluid such as pus) in the armpits and groin. If you have been diagnosed with HS recently, you may have questions about your diagnosis. Here are some of the frequently asked questions:

Q: What caused my HS to develop?

A: The exact cause of HS is not entirely understood. It is believed that occlusion (blockage) and rupture (bursting) of the hair follicle and an overactive immune reaction are key features in its development. In some cases, there is a genetic component, which explains why HS runs in certain families.

Q: When does HS first present?

A: HS commonly presents at or shortly after puberty.

Q: How common is HS?

A: Studies vary, but the range is somewhere between 0.00033% to 4.10%.

Q: Who is most commonly diagnosed with HS?

A: Women, Black individuals, and those from lower socioeconomic status are most likely to develop HS.

Q: What other diseases are associated with HS?

A: HS is associated with metabolic syndrome, obesity, polycystic ovarian syndrome, as well as cardiovascular disease.

Q: Do painful and draining lesions mean I have an infection?

A: Bacteria may contribute to HS development and are commonly found to colonize HS lesions. However, the painful draining lesions of HS are not thought to be an infection but rather a manifestation of an overactive immune system.

Q: Will I ever be cured of HS?

A: HS is a chronic recurrent inflammatory disease. There is no cure, but it can go into remission with the current treatments available.

Q: What are some resources for people diagnosed with HS?

A: More information can be found at www.hs-foundation.org.




Last modified on September 27th, 2023 at 10:27 am