HS often occurs in armpits, groin, under the breasts, buttocks and on the inner thighs. HS can occur in one spot, or show up in multiple areas of the body.
Signs of HS can include:
- Blackheads - small pitted areas of skin containing blackheads
- Leaking wounds - these heal very slowly, if at all, and often lead to scarring and the development of tunnels
- Red Tender Bumps – these often grow in size and can break open, draining pus. This drainage often has an unpleasant odor. These bumps are found in areas where the skin rubs together. Itching and burning can also accompany these bumps.
- Painful lumps – these lumps are usually pea sized and hard. They develop under the skin, may persist for many years, enlarge and become inflamed
- Tunnels – over a period of time, tracts connecting the lumps can form under the skin. These wounds can heal very slowly, if at all, and can leak pus.
- Infection – the affected areas can have open wounds that become infected.
- Scars and changes in skin – the affected wounds may heal but leave scars, pitted skin or discoloured patches of skin that are darker than normal.
- Restricted movement – the sores, bumps, and scars can cause movement to be painful and limited. This is especially true when the disease affects the armpits or thighs.
- Obstructed lymph drainage – the most common sites where HS occurs are sites that also contain lymph nodes. Scar tissue can interfere with the lymph drainage system and can cause swelling in the arms, legs or genitals.
- Social isolation – due to the location, leaking sores and the odor produced by these sore, patients are often embarrassed and reluctant to go out in public. This can lead to sadness and depression.
- Cancer – very rarely, patients with advanced HS can develop squamous cell carcinoma in the affected areas.
HS can also be associated with other disorders such as metabolic syndrome (HTN, dyslipidemia, diabetes), arthritis, Inflammatory bowel disease, depression and anemia