What Is HS?
Get the basics on this chronic inflammatory skin condition.
Christopher Sayed, M.D., associate professor of dermatology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, explains the chronic inflammatory condition hidradenitis supprativa (HS).
Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the skin and in particular hair follicles. It tends to be at intertriginous sites like under the arms, in the groin area, on the buttocks, or under the breast. Although, some patients have very diffuse disease in other places too, and it classically appears as abscesses or boils that become very painful and drain. A lot of people have one abscess over the course of their life. That's a tough thing to put up with, but these patients are sort of dealing with that all the time, usually.
Over time, HS can scar and become disfiguring in some ways, too. It is not something where there is one particular test for it. HS is a condition where patients have chronic, lesions like abscesses in the typical locations over time. That's enough to make the diagnosis.