Medical Q&As

Hidradenitis suppurativa

I suffer from recurring abscesses in my armpits and groin and have been told that I have Hidradenitis suppuritiva. Can you explain in simple terms what this means?

Hidradenitis suppuritiva is a poorly understood condition that affects the sweat glands. It does not affect sweat glands in general but rather those in the armpit, groin, breast and anal region. Sufferers with this condition experience recurring abscesses in the affected areas resulting in frequent antibiotic prescriptions and occasional incision and drainage of abscesses. There is no known cure so treatment is limited to the treatment of infection when it arises. It is recommended that sufferers wear light cotton clothing and reduce activities that induce sweating. Under arm deodorants are not recommended because they can trigger a flare up of the condition by irritating the skin.