Hidradenitis suppravita is an uncommon skin disorder caused by hair follicles blocked by keratin, in which painful boil-like lumps develop in the groin, armpits and under the breasts and around the anus and vulva. It is more common in women.
Abscesses may develop due to secondary bacterial infection and fistulas (channels) may form into the anus and vagina.
Treatment is unsatisfactory. Patients should wash with antiseptics to reduce skin bacteria, use antibiotics (e.g. tetracycline, clindamycin, metronidazole) long term, and doctors may surgically remove persistent lumps. Some women benefit by taking the oral contraceptive pill. Roaccutane tablets and radical surgery to excise the entire affected area are used in very severe cases. Unfortunately, the condition often persists long term.