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Definition of Hidradenitis Suppurativa
Hidradenitis Suppurativa is a condition of chronic inflammation resulting from blockage of the hair follicles (follicular occlusion). The inflammation may involve the apocrine glands, sweat glands that secrete fluid into the hair follicles. The hair follicles then channel the sweat to the surface of the skin.
When sebum or cellular debris plugs the apocrine gland’s opening, fluid backs up into the gland. The situation results in an infection that produces a hard, painful, reddened nodule below the skin’s surface. Though the nodules will heal in three or four weeks without treatment, they often scar and recur.
Treatment with oral antibiotic medications may help control the condition though does not always clear it up. Occasionally the dermatologist needs to lance (surgically open) the nodule to allow it to drain. Dermatologists do not know what causes hidradenitis suppurativa to develop, though it is more common in people who have obesity.
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