Blocked Hair Follicles and HS

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Pimples can be embarrassing when they pop up on your face. But when you find what looks like a pimple in an unusual place, it may be a sign of something more serious. Commonly mistaken for acne, ingrown hairs, or STDs, hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder that is found in areas where skin rubs together. It's not related to hygiene and it can't be spread to other people. While the underlying cause is unknown, HS results in hair follicles that can become blocked and inflamed.

Nearby sweat glands and follicles get clogged with oil, sweat, and dead skin cells. This creates an infectious breeding ground for bacteria which get trapped in the follicle and have no way to escape. Large bumps formed deep in the skin, which can rupture, leaking smelly fluids into the soft tissues under the skin or to the outside. When these bumps heal, they form thick, rope-like scar tissue that can be disfiguring and make movement more difficult.

It's hard to tell the exact cause of HS since there are so many factors at play. But it may be linked to genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors. It usually he shows up around puberty and women are three times more likely to get it than men. While there's no cure, smoking and obesity can make symptoms worse. So one of the best things to help better manage your HS is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Medications can also help ease symptoms to make HS a little more bearable.