WHAT CAUSES HS?

No one knows for sure what causes hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). One theory is that HS is the result of a defect in hair follicles.

What we do know is that HS tends to form when:

  • A blockage in a hair follicle causes the follicle to clog
  • Pressure builds and the wall of the follicle leaks sideways, deep within the skin under the surface
  • The leakage makes the immune system respond, causing the follicle to become inflamed
This cycle continues, and that’s what leads to the chronic nature of the disease.

HS is a skin disease. It’s not from poor hygiene, it’s not an STD.

HS is not caused by infection, your race, or diet. It’s not from using deodorants or shaving your underarms. And it’s not contagious. Remember—you didn’t get HS because of anything you did or didn’t do.

When It Comes to HS, Do You Know What’s Fact and What’s BS?

Find out if what you think or believe about hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is really true or just a bogus story. Once you pick an answer it cannot be modified.

HS is caused by poor hygiene.

HS is a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

HS is not contagious.

Smoking may worsen HS or may cause HS to be more severe.

Being obese or overweight does not cause HS.

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Nodule

A small bump or lump under the skin.

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Abscess

A collection of pus causing swelling and inflammation in the surrounding skin.

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Rupture

Forcibly tearing or bursting through the skin.

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Hair follicle

The root where hair grows.

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Chronic

Continuing or occurring again and again for a long time.

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Comorbidities

Medical conditions that appear together.

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Triglycerides

A type of fat found in the blood that might raise your risk of coronary artery disease.

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HDL cholesterol

High-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol, or “good cholesterol.” High HDL cholesterol levels are desirable, as they reduce the risk for cardiovascular (heart) disease.

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Glucose

Sugar in bloodstream, derived from carbohydrates.

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Lesion

An ulcer or sore on the skin, such as those caused by HS.

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Fistula

An abnormal connection or tunnel under the skin that forms because of injury, infection or inflammation.

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Sinus tract

A narrow tunnel under the skin that is open on one end and lets fluid escape or drains fluid.

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Corticosteroids

A medicine used to relieve swelling, itching, and redness in the body.

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Infusion

The slow therapeutic introduction of a medication into the body via a vein.

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De-roofing

Removing the top of a cyst, sinus tract, or abscess by surgery.

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