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What casues HS?

The exact cause of hidradenitis suppurativa is unknown, but the immune system is believed to play a part.  

HS begins in hair follicies in areas where there are many oil and sweat glands

These follicies can get clogged with bacteria and other substances

The immune system may overreact to clogged hair follicies, which can be inflammed.  These inflamed follicies cause the painful hidradenitis suppurativa breakouts you see on your skin

To target the inflammation that contributes to hidradenitis suppurativa, you have to target the inflammation inside your body, not just the outside symptoms.  

An HS vocabulary lesson

Knowing the right words to use can help when you're talking with your dermatologist.  Here is a list of words you'll see when learning about hidradenitis suppurativa.

Absscess - Swollen area on the body that contains fluid

Chronic - Continues for a long time and progresses slowly

Fistula - An opening on the surface of the skin from a tunnel of connecting abscesses

Nodule - A lump on the skin that may look like a pimple or cyst