Hidradenitis suppurativa, commonly known as acne inversa, is a skin disorder resulting in tiny, painful lumps beneath the skin. Lump formation is most common in locations when your skin rubs together, like the buttocks, groin, armpits, and breasts. The lumps mend slowly, reoccur, and may cause tunnels beneath the skin and scarring.

Hidradenitis suppurativa usually appears after puberty. It may last for years and intensify with time, severely affecting your everyday life and mental well-being. Combining medical and surgical treatment may help manage illness and prevent complications.


Hidradenitis suppurativa may affect one or many areas of your body. This condition’s symptoms and signs may include:

  • painful pea-sized lumps
  • tunnels
  • Blackheads
  • Leaking bumps or sores

Some persons with this condition have mild symptoms. The condition’s course varies greatly. Obesity and smoking are linked to worse symptoms, although even thin individuals may develop severe illness.


Hidradenitis suppurativa is a difficult condition to diagnose and treat. The issue is often misdiagnosed as ingrown hair, infection, or other ailments. Your doctor’s diagnosis will be based on your symptoms and signs, skin appearance, and medical records. If there is drainage or pus, your doctor may take a sample for examination in a lab.


Surgery, medications, or a combination of the two may help manage symptoms and prevent problems from hidradenitis suppurativa. Discuss the risks and advantages of the treatment choices with your doctor, as well as how to develop a plan that is unique to you.

Expect to see your dermatologist regularly. A multidisciplinary health care team may be required for certain persons who need comprehensive treatment.


Combining surgical and medical treatments may help with hidradenitis suppurativa treatment. Surgery is an essential part of illness management when a bump (abscess) and tunnel are present. The best surgical method for you is determined by the degree and severity of your disease. Discuss the risks and advantages of the following choices with your doctor:

  • Punch debridement
  • Surgical removal
  • Uncovering the tunnels
  • Laser therapy
  • Drainage and incision


The following are the medications you may take that suggested by your doctor:

  • Steroid injections
  • Biologics
  • Pain medication
  • Antibiotics used on the skin
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Retinoids

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