Hidradenitis suppurtiva is a chronic disease in which there is recurrent abscess formation, mainly within skin folds which contain terminal hairs and apocrine glands. The underarms (axilla) and groin (inguinal and perianal) areas are the most common locations for hidradenitis. The buttock and under-the-breasts areas are also common areas. This condition occurs after puberty and affects women four-times as often as men. Most affected patients are also overweight. Your Houston dermatologists can help decide if hidradenitis is the condition from which you suffer.
The condition also has other features such as development of tender red nodules, which are firm at first but then become full of pus and become painful. When these pus-filled structures break open, they form sinus tracts and lots of scarring. Because of these sinus tracts, as one area heals, other lesions form and the disease "spreads". An average of five painful abscesses appear per month. It may eventually lead to the formation of honeycombed tracts with chronic infections.
Treatment of hidradenitis includes topical antibiotics, oral antibiotics, isotretinoin, spironolactone, and sometimes surgical excision. In 2015, Humira, a biologic agent used for psoriasis, was approved for hidradenitis and has helped many patients control their condition and avoid the need for surgery.
Lifestyle modifications can be very important in the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa.