Are you at risk of hidradenitis suppurativa?

Answer From Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.

Hidradenitis suppurativa develops when hair follicles become blocked and inflamed. It's not clear why this blockage occurs, but experts believe that genetic and environmental factors play a role, including:

  • Age. Most people with hidradenitis suppurativa begin to experience symptoms sometime after puberty but before the age of 30.
  • Your sex. Women are more likely than men are to have hidradenitis suppurativa.
  • Family history. Many people with hidradenitis suppurativa have at least one relative who has the condition.
  • Excess weight. Several studies have linked obesity with hidradenitis suppurativa.
  • Tobacco use. Most people with hidradenitis suppurativa are current or former smokers.

It's clear, however, that hidradenitis suppurativa is't caused by poor hygiene. The condition also is't contagious. If you're concerned about others' reactions to your symptoms, explain that hidradenitis suppurativa can't be spread through skin contact. Sharing information with friends and family about your condition can help those close to you understand what you are dealing with and how they can help and support you.

Dec. 29, 2018 See more Expert Answers