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Conditions

Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Hidradentitis suppurativa in the armpit

With a name like hidradenitis suppurativa, it’s perhaps not immediately obvious what kind of condition we’re going to tell you about. However, if you take a moment to look up “suppuration” in the dictionary, you’ll discover that it means “the formation or discharge of pus”, which should start to give you an idea. Hidradenitis is a chronic and stubborn skin disease centred on inflammation of the large specialised sweat glands (apocrine glands) that are found mainly in the armpits and groin area. These areas show a distinctive mixture of boil-like lumps, areas leaking pus, and scarring, which can be itchy, but usually painful, and the lumps hurt if they are pressed. Aside from the pain and unpleasantness of the condition, it can also be embarrassing and unsightly. There are possibly over 100,000 sufferers in the UK alone with this condition, which can be difficult to treat, although there are a number of treatments that can be tried including medications and surgery.

HS is a chronic condition which is managed rather than cured and can unfortunately flare up again even after it has appeared to improve. Further information and support on living with the condition can be obtained by contacting the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Trust.

Watch the Live from the Clinic interactive case video on hidradenitis suppurativa >

Get Involved With A New HS Study

It is estimated that 1% of the population have HS. However the figure could be higher due to lack of recognition. Current management of HS can be unsatisfactory, so more research is needed regarding this distressing condition. The UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network has set up a Priority Setting Partnership, using the James Lind Alliance model, to tackle this issue. The partnership includes patients (including the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Trust), carers, dermatologists, dermatology nurses, GPs, surgeons and psychologists. The central task is to identify uncertainties about HS and its management, then to prioritise the top 10 selected issues for future research.

To get involved in this research please follow this link to fill out an online survey >

Comments and Questions

The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I hope this helps. After major homework on HS I quit smoking, started using Dettol bar soap, taking a multivitamin and zinc, avoiding specific trigger foods.(spices, yeast based food and refined sugars) I am as far in remission as I have ever been. Flare ups are minimal, when it does happen it isn't as bad. I will note that tanning helps and alcohol almost always results in a flare up I am.28 and developed HS after having my son........good luck!





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1/2 kilo or liter of pure honey. * Two ( 2 ) large sheets or three ( 3 ) small plant called Aloe (in other countries is known as ALOE ) · * Three ( 3) tablespoons of brandy , whiskey , tequila or rum (this is used as a vasodilator ) . It takes away the dust and thorns leaf Aloe ( Aloe ) , they are cut into small pieces, then all elements are introduced , cited above , in an electric mixer or blender. It beats until you see a viscous paste. And is ready to take. It can be left out of the refrigerator or put in the refrigerator , the taste of each. Do not remove the shell to Aloe ( aloe ) , and strain the remedy.I take this and so far it has hleped me so much, my grandma told me about it.





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Almost forgot take a full table spoon 3 times a day 15 minutes before meal for 10 days and you will start noticing the difference it makes.

i have suffered HS for 8 years which started in my groin during chemotherapy and radiotherapy although i am told it was caused by the latter.Saw every doctor and not one knew what it was so i diagnosed myself through your site,printed the picture off and took it to my doctor at the hospice who confirmed it was HS.I cant have surgery so along with all my other health issues along with cancer,i have the pleasure of living the rest of my days in misery.





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I have found laser hair removal to be of some help





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As yet my Dr is refusing to send me to a specialist, beginning to give up, am currently off of work because of this as in so much pain, Dr gave me yet more antibiotics yesterday along side the 3 month course i am already on.

I have been suffering for nearly 2years with hs and as time goes on it is getting worse and worse, the bolis are in my groin area and are so painful. I am taking antibiotics all the time but they are not working. Had to have time off work last week as i was in so much pain. It is really getting me down, i am very tearful all the time, usually a very happy bubbly person. I am also taking turmeric capsules, vitamin c and zinc tablets, i will try anything just to stop the pain.





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Hi I am a HS sufferer and it is taking over my life I was a lively outgoing and funny person. Being a 24 year old woman and having this condition is just awful. I have also jus lost my job from takin time off because it's so bad and I get really down I have no confidence at all life is just horrible for me at the moment. My HS isn't lumps or boils anymore they r complete open wounds were u can see the tissue pusses and bleeds all the time the skin is completely gone and is open wounds the size of my armpit. The dermatologist is only give me steroids and antibiotics for the past year. And nothing is helping they are just getting worse. I just can't cope anymore what am I supposed to do because I feel like no one is listening to me and not helping me.





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Hey I am suffering from hidradentitis suppurativa for the last 11 years.





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Hi , ive been getting itchy sore lumps in between my butt cheeks and its really uncomfortable when i sit down or wear tight trousers my tailbone is constantly itchy , when i scratch them they bleed , i dont know what to do my doctor gave me cream but that just irritates it more , its really embarrassing when they become itchy in public because i cant do anything about it :( .





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Hi i have a red bump on my pubic area and it started in September and was pussy it eventually popped and 2 weeks later it blew up again. That one popped and to prevent infection i put a plaster on it and it has not blown up since then but i have noted that every time I change the plaster theres red bumps that are underneath it. the big boil is still there but flat it is still red and when you squeeze it you feel a tiny small ball under it. Im 13 years old and have started puberty since 12 im scared to tell anyone shall i tell anyone.. Please im scared stiff thanks





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James u must speak to someone no need to be scared or embarrassed if u dont see a doctor how u gona get help. You're so young u got ur whole life ahead of u dont suffer in silence .

I am currently taking lymecycline antibiotics I have been getting swollen lump under my armpit for 3 months now I'm 23 and have always suffered with acne from a young age when I first went to the doctors 3 months ago when it first appeared the nurse said it was cause by blocked hair follicles she gave me my first does Of antibiotics what got rid of the lump for 7 to 14 days they are now twice the size and I'm not just getting then in my armpit now it's worse then what it was before now there on my groin in the inner of my bum cheeks and around my nipple area I done some research and found that the antibiotics that I'm on now are for people who have symptoms of HS but my doctor hasn't told me what it could be I'm very confused and feel hopeless that I have to wait to for diagnoses the lumps are just getting bigger And more painful but do not have heads on them I've only been suffering for 3 months ovasily it's goin to get worse





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Hi jodie. I can understand how u feel but u must keep harassing your doctors at least this way u can no what exactly wrong with u .if it is hs dont lose hope i suffered in silence for many years untill i couldn't take no more i had all the antibiotics for years nothing helped for longer than a week or 2 i was put on steroids for 3 years untill my dermatologist referred me to a surgeon who operated had a few surgery's.3 years later i haven't had any problems no more painfull boils and i can live a normal happy life.i wish u well.





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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