Hidradenitis Suppurativa

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Hidradenitis Suppurativa is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Summary

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic condition characterized by swollen, painful lesions, occurring in the armpit (axillae), groin, anal, and breast regions. This disease occurs due to obstruction of hair follicles and secondary infection and sometimes inflammation of certain sweat glands (apocrine glands). It is a progressive disease where single boil-like, pus-filled abscesses become hard lumps, then painful, deep-seated, often inflamed clusters of lesions with chronic seepage. Healing of affected areas is typically associated with progressive scarring (fibrosis). Formation of chronic epithelialized, sometimes interconnected, sinus tracts occur in severe disease. This often leads to the entrapment of perspiration and bacteria in the surrounding tissue, which causes the inflammation and infection. HS can be extremely painful and debilitating but is rarely life threatening; only occurring when the bacteria infection leads to an overwhelming systemic infection in an individual with a weakened immune system.

Introduction

HS was once thought to be a rare disorder because only the most severe cases were reported. HS was first described in the medical literature by Velpeau in 1839 and was considered an extremely severe form of acne (acne inversa). It most often presents at puberty because changes in hair follicles triggered by the surge in sex hormones. The condition may also begin to occur in patients of any age after puberty, but rarely before. Cases vary in severity, but all require some treatment and management. For mild cases, home remedies may be all that is needed. For severe forms however, daily medication is often prescribed and radical surgery may eventually be recommended. Early diagnosis and treatment of HS is important because it can help manage symptoms and prevent new boils and lesions from forming.

Supporting Organizations

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

HS-USA, Inc.

7362 High Hill Dr
Brighton, MI 48116-9143
USA
Tel: (810)231-3419
Email: info@hs-usa.org
Website: http://hs-usa.webs.com/

Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation, Inc

7895 Via Belfiore #4
San Diego, CA 92129
Tel: (858)901-4747
Fax: (619)239-3271
Email: administration@hs-foundation.org
Website: http://www.hs-foundation.org

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

NIAID Office of Communications and Government Relations
5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806
Bethesda, MD 20892-9806
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
Tel: (866)284-4107
Email: ocpostoffice@niaid.nih.gov
Website: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/

NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Information Clearinghouse
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
USA
Tel: (301)495-4484
Fax: (301)718-6366
Tel: (877)226-4267
Email: NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov
Website: http://www.niams.nih.gov/

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

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This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  3/15/2016
Copyright  2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.