Symptoms of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

If you notice spherical bumps under your skin, typically in the armpits, groin, between your buttocks, or under your breasts, you might think confuse them with acne. These lumps usually show up after puberty and are also known as acne inversa, which explains the confusion.

What they are, however, is a chronic skin condition called hidradenitis suppurativa. If left untreated, the bumps, or lesions, will worsen, but early diagnosis and treatment can alleviate the symptoms and prevent further spread of the lumps.

Recognizing The Symptoms

This condition develops around hair follicles, where oil and sweat glands are also located. That is why it shows up in the armpits and around the groin. It can also show up where skin touches skin.

In addition to the places listed above, you might notice it between your inner thighs. The lumps may only be in one area, or they could show up at multiple sites.

Untreated, they can create tunnels under the skin and spread, even up to the face.

If you suspect you might have this condition, look for the following four signs and symptoms:

  • Blackheads – While blackheads on the face are a common symptom of acne, these blackheads can show up on the body and are often found in pairs.
  • Red bumps – These bumps are tender and can grow larger, eventually breaking open to drain foul-smelling pus. It is also common to experience itching, burning, and extreme sweating with these bumps.
  • Pea-to-marble-sized lumps under the skin – These lumps are hard, can become inflamed and enlarged, and can last for years if not treated.
  • Leakage from bumps – If your bumps leak, they can take a long time to heal or could remain open sores. This can lead to scars as well as tunnels developing and spreading the lesions to a larger area.

Many people describe this skin disorder as “painful red lumps”, “harsh and painful sores” or “bumps with pus under the skin.” More often than not, it develops in younger individuals aged 20-30.

Painful, round, and irregular nodules appear under the skin. Typically, the pus from inflammation reaches the skin surface in 7-10 days.

The exact causes of this condition are not yet known. However, clinical investigations have detected several factors in our everyday life, which favors the development of this disease.

When to See a Doctor Vs. Try a Home Treatment

If you catch it early, you may be able to treat it from home. However, if you’ve waited too long, or you try natural treatments and the bumps become painful, persist over a few weeks, show up in more than one location, or return after treatment, consult a doctor for further medical intervention.