Hidradenitis suppurativa: What is it?

Hidradenitis suppurative (HS) is a skin disorder that can manifest as small bumps that resemble pimples, larger nodules that resemble acne, or even boils. It’s occasionally referred to as “acne inversa,” despite the fact that it’s not a type of acne.

The lesions typically hurt and develop in the armpits or groin, or other regions where skin scrapes against the skin. Under your skin, scars, and tracts may form after these lesions have healed.

Without therapy, HS can deteriorate over time and impair your quality of life.

Up to 2% of people in the population are affected by this chronic illness.

Symptoms of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

The primary sign of HS is a painful skin outbreak that frequently affects the inner thighs, armpits, groin, anus, under the breasts, and between the buttocks.

Red, pimple-like pimples, discomfort, deep nodules or cysts, boils, and nodules that leak or drain are all indications of an HS breakout.

Tunnels, which are tracts or channels that connect lumps and form beneath your skin, painful deep breakouts that go away and come back, bumps that burst and leak foul-smelling pus, scars that thicken, scars that form as persistent breakouts, infections, and more may appear over time if HS is left untreated.

Although lesions can appear and disappear, some people’s skin will constantly break out.

The following elements may make the illness worse: stress, heat, hormonal changes, tobacco use, being overweight, folliculitis, pimples, and boils.

The HS bumps are sometimes mistaken for boils, folliculitis, or pimples.

An HS breakout is identifiable because it frequently results in bumps on both sides of your body that recur in particular areas, such as your armpits and groin.

Diet for Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Your Hidradenitis Suppurativa may be impacted by what you consume. While some meals can avoid flare-ups, others can cause them.

Despite the fact that there isn’t now a diet that is advised for those with the condition, modest studies and anecdotal data show that individuals may experience relief by avoiding the following foods: dairy goods, such as ice cream, butter, cheese, and cow’s milk, because they may cause some hormone levels to rise.

Brewer’s yeast is a substance that can provoke an immune system reaction in persons who are prone to wheat intolerance. It is found in items like beer, wine, and soy sauce.

Sugary meals like candy, soda, and packaged cereals may raise blood glucose levels and cause inflammation.

Several meals, including the following, may help treat Hidradenitis Suppurativa symptoms: fruits, veggies, and oats are examples of foods strong in fiber that may help to balance hormone and blood sugar levels.

omega-3-rich meals like salmon, sardines, and walnuts because they may help to reduce inflammation

The immune system may benefit from taking zinc supplements.

Stages of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

In order to evaluate the severity of HS and choose a course of treatment, doctors frequently employ the Hurley clinical staging method. These are the three Hurley stages:

Stage 1: a few lesions (nodules and abscesses) or several lesions, with little scarring

Stage 2: a single lesion or several, with a few tunnels and scarring.

Stage 3: many lesions cover the entire body area, with deep tunnels and scarring

Stages of Hidradenitis Suppurativa
Stages of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Causes of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

It is unclear to doctors what causes HS. It is understood that HS is not infectious and is not brought on by inadequate personal care or any kind of illness.

One-third of those with the illness report having a family history, which raises the possibility that there is a genetic component.

More study is required, even though several studies have linked Hidradenitis Suppurativa to mutations in particular genes.

A hyperactive immune system, being overweight, using tobacco products, and having another inflammatory immunological illness, particularly inflammatory bowel disease, are additional potential causes of Hidradenitis Suppurativa (IBD)

Since HS typically develops soon after puberty, similar to acne, and abnormal sweat gland growth, hormones are probably also implicated in the onset of the disorder.

Hidradenitis suppurativa occurrence

HS flare-ups can linger for a few weeks. During these flare-ups, you might feel increased pain. It’s crucial to take any prescription medications as directed in order to lessen this discomfort and stop the flare.

Although flare-ups are typically unpredictable, they may be brought on by stress, hot weather, foods with dairy or sugar, or other factors.

In the case of women – Before their periods, some women develop flare-ups.

A bad stench could be generated when nodules burst and the fluid inside them spills out. The scent can be eliminated by gently cleaning the area with an antibacterial soap.

Wearing loose clothing that doesn’t press against the nodules in some circumstances can also be beneficial.

Risk elements towards Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Risk elements that could raise your risk of getting HS to include:

taking specific drugs

having obesity or being overweight

being between 20 and 39 years old, with severe acne, arthritis, IBD (like Crohn’s disease), metabolic syndrome, or diabetes, and having a history of smoking.

It’s crucial to get checked for other conditions if you have HS, such as:

depression, diabetes, and skin cancer

You might be more vulnerable to them.

Complications of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Complications from untreated or severe cases of HS include:

Scarring. Where outbreaks heal and then recur, scars may develop. They might get thicker with time.

Immobility. Scars and painful sores may make it difficult for you to move.

Infection. Skin lesions that leak or drain can develop an infection.

lymphatic drainage issues. Typically, bumps and scars appear on parts of your body that are close to lymph nodes. This may interfere with lymphatic outflow, resulting in edema.

Skin alterations Your skin may discolor or appear pitted in some spots.

Depression. Self-inflicted social isolation may result from skin outbreaks and foul drainage odor. Some individuals may consequently experience depression.

Fistulas. Fistulas, or hollow channels, can develop inside your body as a result of the healing and scarring cycle linked to HS outbreaks. These can be uncomfortable and can need surgery.

cutaneous cancer Although extremely rare, some persons with severe HS have developed squamous cell carcinoma, a kind of skin cancer, on the skin regions where they experienced recurring breakouts and scarring.

Lifestyle Changes

Making some significant modifications to your lifestyle may be beneficial and required to better manage HS.

Giving up smoking –

Up to 90% of individuals with HS are current or former smokers of tobacco products. On the follicles of the skin, nicotine may form plugs.

If you’re a smoker, you might think about discussing quitting with your doctor and other helpful resources so that you can make the best choice possible for you.

Hold onto a healthy weight –

More than 75% of persons with HS are overweight or obese, according to a 2019 article.

According to several studies, those who made an effort to reach and maintain a reasonable weight reported having better symptoms or remission.

Read More: Complete Treatment for HS


Although HS is known as a difficult and painful disease, our effective treatments with potent bio-active, herbal Ayurveda medications and therapies can help you to completely treat the disease.

We at EliteAyurveda have helped and treated thousands of people with debilitating diseases like HS, Psoriasis, etc. Find out more about our methodologies and treatment options by speaking with our Doctors or Representatives. Visit eliteayurveda.com to know more.

The author is a Lead Ayurveda Specialist at EliteAyurveda Clinics. With over 15 years of experience in treating Neurological, Muscular & Autoimmune Diseases.

Visit  eliteayurveda.com for additional details.