There’s no test for HS. Find out how doctors make the call.
Christopher Sayed, M.D., associate professor of dermatology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, explores how doctors differentiate HS from other skin conditions.
HS is a clinical diagnosis. There is no test that can be performed to help identify it. It is really just a matter of three criteria, and those are typical lesions, in typical locations, that happen recurrently. Symptoms classically appear as abscesses or boils that become very painful and drain. Many people have one abscess over the course of their life, and that's a tough thing to put up with. These patients are dealing with that all the time, usually.
There's no perfect time frame that has to happen. If it's happening for more than six months, recurrently, that's probably HS, until proven otherwise. It's as simple as history and what's happening.