Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Image and content excerpted from the VisualDx clinical decision support system.

Image of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

VisualDx images show variation in age, skin color, and disease stage. VisualDx has 73 images of Hidradenitis Suppurativa.

Full text and additional images for Hidradenitis Suppurativa are available in VisualDx.

Sign up for a Free 30-Day Trial of VisualDx.


L73.2 – Hidradenitis suppurativa

59393003 – Hidradenitis suppurativa


Hidradenitis suppurativa is a destructive, chronic inflammatory disorder of the terminal follicular epithelium in apocrine gland-bearing regions. This disease was once thought to be caused by bacterial infection, but it has now become clear that it is a noninfectious acneiform disease. It is believed that follicular occlusion leads to trapping of follicular contents, rupture, and inflammation of the dermis, with bacterial superinfection in some cases. Hidradenitis suppurativa is more common in women and individuals of African descent.

The nodules of hidradenitis suppurativa are seen most commonly on the buttocks, breasts, and in the groin and axillae. Usually, the onset of the disease occurs soon after puberty, and patients typically report recurring "boils." Symptoms may include arthralgias and local pain and tenderness during a flare-up. Shaving, depilation, deodorants, and mechanical irritation can worsen this condition, but irritation of the skin is usually not a major factor. Obesity and cigarette smoking are associated with hidradenitis suppurativa. Hidradenitis suppurativa and metabolic syndrome are strongly associated.

Interestingly, hidradenitis suppurativa shares similar clinical features (severe inflammation, occlusion of the follicle, and scarring) with dissecting cellulitis of the scalp and acne conglobata. Collectively, these 3 conditions are referred to as the follicular occlusion triad, and more than one may occur in a given patient. Some consider the pilonidal sinus (pilonidal cyst) to be an additional member of this group.

With a prevalence of up to 1% in some population-based studies, hidradenitis suppurativa is a common disease.

Try VisualDx FREE for 30 days

VisualDx is your key to a faster, more accurate diagnosis.

Sign up today and receive a FREE 30-day trial to VisualDx.

Your VisualDx subscription includes mobile access via our Apple and Android apps.

VisualDx is a web-based clinical decision support system used in over 1,500 hospitals and large clinics. Learn more.

Get your FREE 30-day trial