Hidradenitis Suppurativa Armpit - Stage II (Moderate)
Photo courtesy of Dr. Martin Miehe
What is hidradenitis suppurativa (HS)?
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, systemic (throughout the body) inflammatory condition where an overactive immune system contributes to inflammation below the surface of the skin.
With HS, that means inflammation starts on the inside—before showing up in the layers of the skin as bumps, nodules, abscesses, and tunnels. While the exact cause of HS is unknown, there’s a lot more to HS than what you can see on the skin.
HS can get worse over time. It can progress to form tracts or tunnels between abscesses deep within the skin, as well as scarring on the surface, and more. Explore HS symptoms and pictures to learn more on the stages of HS and what to look for.
Since the 1830s, medical researchers have worked to better understand the condition. Check out this timeline of HS research to see what research milestones led to the current understanding of HS.
Areas affected by hidradenitis suppurativa
HS usually develops in areas that grow hair, and where skin rubs against skin. It can also occur where sweat glands are located. Areas affected by HS can include:
- Groin area
- Back of the neck
Who is affected by HS?
People all over the world are living with HS. However, some groups are more affected than others.
- Female vs. male – Women are 3X more likely to get HS than men.
- Genetics – HS can run in families. More than 30% of people with HS have a family member who also has the disease.
- Age range – HS usually develops during adolescence or in young adults in their early 20s. It rarely develops past age 55.