Overview of Hidradenitis

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a potentially serious, chronic, pus-producing (suppurative) disorder of the follicles and sweat glands. Hidradenitis suppurativa develops primarily in the sweat glands located in the armpits, in the groin, around the breasts, and in the anal region.

The follicles and ducts become blocked, and bacteria and pus are forced into the surrounding tissue, causing irritation. Abscesses form and can become quite large and eventually break through the skin. Abscesses may open and drain spontaneously. Scar tissue forms in the healing process. Hidradenitis suppurativa can be a socially and physically painful and disabling disease.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Aug 2000

Last Modified: 15 Sep 2015