Sweat Gland Infection (Hidradenitis Suppurativa)

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Hidradenitis suppurativa is a condition characterized by swollen, painful bumps, occurring in the armpit, groin, anal, and breast regions. This disease occurs due to obstruction of hair follicles and infection of sweat glands. Painful pus-filled abscesses become hard lumps with chronic seepage. They can smell bad when they break open. They can also leave scars.

This often leads to the entrapment of perspiration and bacteria in the surrounding tissue, which causes more inflammation and infection. Hidradenitis suppurativa can be extremely painful and debilitating. A diagnosis is made based upon symptoms, medical history, examination, and blood tests.

Moderate and severe cases require medications such as antibiotics, oral retinoid, anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, hormones, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors. Other possibly beneficial treatments are carbon dioxide laser therapy, laser hair removal and radiation therapy.

Humira is the first FDA-approved therapy for the treatment of moderate to severe hidradenitis suppurativa in adults. Surgical removal of lesions and skin grafting of affected areas may be necessary in extreme cases.

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