Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is also known as Acne Inversa. It is an inflammatory condition of the hair follicles with a predilection for apocrine-gland bearing skin.
These areas are predominately the armpits, groin, buttocks, genitalia and perineum as well as underneath and between the breasts in women.
it is estimated to affect up to 1% of the global population with women more commonly affected than men- however in Asian populations- this trend may be reversed.
The typical age of onset is in the teenage years- early 20's, although there is a second spike in onset in late 30's/early 40s.
it is associated with smoking, diabetes, increased BMI, hormonal abnormalities (such as PCOS) and a small minority of patients have a family history of the disease.
The cause is incredibly complex- but it is NOT an infectious disorder. It is a chronic inflammatory disorder.
Treatment can involve medication (antibiotics, steroid injections, anti- inflammatory therapies including biologic therapies) as well as lifestyle changes (weight loss, smoking cessation) and surgery.
no single therapy is effective for everyone and often combined therapies are needed in severe disease.
If you think you may have HS- it is important to see a dermatologist or someone who specializes in the disease- as early treatment is much more effective than treatment in later stages.
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