Skip to Content
Hidradenitis suppurativa (say "hih-drad-uh-NY-tus sup-yur-uh-TY-vuh") is a skin condition that causes lumps on the skin that look like pimples or boils. It can come and go for many years.
Doctors don't know exactly how this skin problem starts. But they do know that something irritates and inflames the hair follicles, causing them to swell and form lumps. This skin condition isn't contagious.
Red lumps that may look like pimples, acne, or boils appear on the skin and are usually painful. The lumps:
If the condition isn't treated and gets worse, hollow tunnels can form under the skin. Over time, the infection and tunnels will heal, but a thick scar may form. These scars can keep skin from stretching naturally.
The treatment for hidradenitis suppurativa depends on how serious it is. Your doctor may discuss these options:
If you have pain, try a warm compress. Soak a towel or washcloth in warm water, wring it out, and place it on the affected skin for about 10 minutes.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as ofFebruary 5, 2016
Current as of:
February 5, 2016
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
© Copyright 2017 Rush Copley Medical Center • 2000 Ogden Avenue; Aurora, IL 60504
Main: 630-978-6200 • Physician Referral & Information: 630-978-6700 or 866-4COPLEY (866-426-7539)