Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a painful, chronic, scarring skin condition that leads to the formation of lumps (nodules), abscesses, and draining channels in the skin. It often affects certain areas of the body including the armpits, breasts, groins and genitals, and bottom. The exact cause is unknown, but the disorder involves inflammation around the hair follicles in these areas. There is an association with smoking, being overweight, and other medical problems including arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes mellitus. HS has a significant impact on patients’ quality of life.

Treatments we offer

Treatment of HS is difficult, and includes:

  • pain relief
  • application of dressings
  • modifying lifestyle factors e.g. smoking cessation, weight loss if overweight
  • topical antiseptics and antibiotics
  • oral antibiotics
  • retinoids (acitretin)
  • dapsone
  • hormonal therapy in women
  • biologic therapy
  • plastic surgery

Additional information

Further online resources