Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS)

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a long-term (chronic) skin condition. It causes abscesses (painful, swollen areas that contain discharge or pus) and scarring on the skin. This is often around the groin, cheeks of your bottom, breasts and armpits, but it can affect other areas as well.

It is believed that between 1% and 4% of the population has HS. Many more people may have the condition, but have not felt able to tell their doctor about their symptoms. 

The NHS website has more information about what HS is, what causes it, and how to manage symptoms.

HS can affect people physically, emotionally and socially. This information can help you to cope with the emotional and practical effects of HS.

There are ideas on how to manage difficult thoughts and feelings if you live with HS. The information also helps you think about how to make choices that could improve your quality of life.

This information might be particularly helpful if HS affects your daily life and you feel upset about the condition.

Information and support

If you still feel distressed about HS after trying the suggestions in this information, talk to your healthcare professional about getting more support.

Guy's and St Thomas' hidradenitis suppurativa service diagnoses and helps you to manage HS. We can offer you support and guidance. We understand how life-changing this condition can be.

Changing Faces is a UK charity for everyone with a scar, mark or condition on their face or body that makes them look different. They offer advice, support and psychosocial services to children, young people and adults. 

Resource number: 3945/VER3
Last reviewed: November 2021
Next review due: November 2024

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, contact your clinical nurse specialist (CNS). You can find their details at the top of your clinic letter, your CNS contact card or medicines booklet.

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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