Medical Q&As

Hidradenitis suppurativa - treatment?

Can you tell me what the treatment for hidradenitis suppurativa is?

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a poorly understood condition that affects a particular set of sweat glands known as the apocrine glands. There are two types of sweat gland in the body, one type produces salty sweat and the other produces a milky odorous fluid. The apocrine glands produce the latter type of fluid. The apocrine glands occur all over the body and are responsible for producing our sexual smell. Hidradenitis suppurativa affects the particular apocrine glands that are located in the armpit, groin, breast and anal region. There is no cure for the condition in the sense of totally eradicating it. Treatment is largely a matter of dealing with recurrences of infection in the glands. There is a British support group for this condition known as the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Support Group. On their website you can find details on various treatments that individual members had found had been helpful to them. You can access their website at: There are a number of self help tips that might be of assistance to you. Always wear loose fitting cotton clothing. Some people have found that tea tree oil soap helps to reduce itch and irritation. Avoid the use of under arm deodorants in either stick or aerosol form because these can give rise to relapses of the condition. Try as best you can to avoid activities that induce excessive sweating. Exposure to sunlight can be helpful but be careful not to burn your skin.