What are the signs and symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa?

If you develop hidradenitis suppurativa, you're likely to experience the following symptoms, which tend to occur one after the other:

  • Lumps and lesions. The first sign of hidradenitis suppurativa is typically a painful lump under the skin, often on a part of your body that experiences friction, such as the armpits or groin. The lump can last for weeks to months before it breaks open into an abscess that drains pus. Another lump can then grow in the same place or in the general area.
  • Tunnels. If you've had hidradenitis suppurativa for months or years, you likely have multiple deep-seated lumps. Over time, tunnels or tracts connecting these lumps will form under the skin. These tunnels can leak pus spontaneously from time to time.
  • Blackheads. Small black bumps might appear on your skin in the later stages of the condition. These bumps are called double-headed blackheads because they often show up in pairs.
  • Scars. After a lump or lesion regresses and heals, thick, bandlike scars might form on your skin. It's also possible for "ice pick (pitted) scars" — similar to scars associated with severe or cystic acne — to appear.

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic condition. It's possible your symptoms might spontaneously go away for periods of time and then returnover the course of decades.

Dec. 29, 2018 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. Acne
  2. Acne mistakes
  3. Acne scars: What's the best treatment?
  4. Acne treatments: Medical procedures may help clear skin
  5. Adult acne: Can natural hormone treatments help?
  6. Antidepressant withdrawal: Is there such a thing?
  7. Antidepressants and alcohol: What's the concern?
  8. Antidepressants and weight gain: What causes it?
  9. Antidepressants: Can they stop working?
  10. Antidepressants: Side effects
  11. Antidepressants: Selecting one that's right for you
  12. Antidepressants: Which cause the fewest sexual side effects?
  13. Atypical antidepressants
  14. Birth control pills for acne?
  15. Caffeine and depression: Is there a link?
  16. Hidradenitis suppurativa wound care
  17. Clinical depression: What does that mean?
  18. Clinical trials for hidradenitis suppurativa
  19. Coping with the stress of hidradenitis suppurativa
  20. Creating a hidradenitis suppurativa care team
  21. Depression and anxiety: Can I have both?
  22. Depression, anxiety and exercise
  23. Depression: Diagnosis is key
  24. Depression in women: Understanding the gender gap
  25. Depression (major depressive disorder)
  26. Depression: Provide support, encouragement
  27. Depression: Supporting a family member or friend
  28. Don't blame pizza, fries or dirt for acne
  29. Excessive sweating
  30. Fish oil and depression
  31. Hidradenitis suppurativa
  32. Hidradenitis suppurativa and biologics: Get the facts
  33. Hidradenitis suppurativa and diet: What's recommended?
  34. Hidradenitis suppurativa: What is it?
  35. Hidradenitis suppurativa: When does it appear?
  36. Depression and diet
  37. Lexapro side effects: Is breast tenderness common?
  38. Living better with hidradenitis suppurativa
  39. Male depression: Understanding the issues
  40. Managing hidradenitis suppurativa: Early treatment is crucial
  41. Hidradenitis suppurativa-related health risks
  42. MAOIs and diet: Is it necessary to restrict tyramine?
  43. Marijuana and depression
  44. Mild depression: Are antidepressants effective?
  45. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  46. Natural acne treatment: What's most effective?
  47. Natural remedies for depression: Are they effective?
  48. Nervous breakdown: What does it mean?
  49. Over-the-counter acne products: What works and why
  50. Pain and depression: Is there a link?
  51. Reducing the discomfort of hidradenitis suppurativa: Self-care tips
  52. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  53. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  54. Staying active with hidradenitis suppurativa
  55. Surgery for hidradenitis suppurativa
  56. Take action against acne
  57. Treat acne-prone skin with care
  58. Treating hidradenitis suppurativa: Explore your options
  59. Treating hidradenitis suppurativa with antibiotics and hormones
  60. Treatment-resistant depression
  61. Tricyclic antidepressants and tetracyclic antidepressants
  62. Vitamin B-12 and depression