Temple Faculty Physicians is experiencing technical issues with phone lines. If you are experiencing an emergency, please visit your nearest emergency room. If you would like to schedule an appointment with your provider or have general questions or requests, please contact us by using myTempleHealth.

800-TEMPLE-MED Schedule Appointment


What Is Hidradenitis?

Hidradenitis, or hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), is a rare and chronic inflammatory skin disease. It may block sweat glands around hair follicles or in skin folds, such as armpits, thighs and breasts. It sometimes starts as a bump or pimple that becomes a painful abscess (swollen, pus-filled area) that ruptures.

The cause of hidradenitis is unknown. It is more common in women and African Americans, and usually starts after the teen years. It is rare to get HS after age 55.

HS is not caused by poor hygiene. It can become severe, but it is not contagious or life-threatening. Contributing causes may include:

  • Immune system disorders
  • Genetic or environmental factors
  • A history of acne


Hidradenitis symptoms range from mild bumps to debilitating skin injury. Symptoms include:

  • Blackheads – Blocked follicles in deep, pitted areas
  • Red, swollen bumps – May grow, break open and leak pus
  • Tunnels – Form under the skin between abscesses, can leak pus and are slow to heal
  • Scarring – In and around injured skin

Treatment Options

Hidradenitis treatment depends on the severity of your condition and focuses on managing symptoms. It may help to lose weight or wear looser clothing to ease skin irritation. Treatments may include:

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of hidradenitis, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat hidradenitis.