What Is
Suppurativa (HS)?

HS is a chronic, or long-lasting, inflammatory skin condition with painful bumps or boils that come and go, mostly on areas of the body where skin meets skin, like the groin, inner thighs, buttocks, under the breasts, and in the armpits. These bumps can lead to sores (or abscesses) that can leak and leave scars. HS can be a painful and draining vicious cycle.

HS is thought to be caused by an overactive immune system generating too much inflammation throughout the body, but symptoms primarily show up on the skin.

Woman Sitting

HS is often confused with other conditions and misdiagnosed.

HS is sometimes misdiagnosed as more well-known conditions, like acne or an infection of the hair follicle (such as an ingrown hair). Because of this, it can take years to get the right diagnosis. On average, it takes people 10 years and seeing 4 doctors for their symptoms before getting their HS diagnosis. That's why it's important to see a dermatologist experienced with diagnosing and treating HS.

Find a Dermatologist

People with HS may also have one or more conditions/health issues at the same time such as:

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Axial spondyloarthritis
  • Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

If you think you're experiencing any signs and symptoms of these conditions, it's important to take care of your whole self by talking to your doctor.

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HS can be hard to
deal with—and
even harder to

Learning how to pronounce
hidradenitis suppurativa just might
be the first step toward getting the
right treatment. Then you'll be in a
better place to talk to your
dermatologist about it.


Now that you know what HS is, learn more about the different stages of the condition and how it may show up on your body.