Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by recurrent painful lesions, called nodules and abscesses, and draining fistulas typically located around the armpits and groin, buttocks and under the breasts. HS can have three stages: 1, 2 and 3.
The reason people develop HS is unclear, but it is thought that an abnormal response of the immune system plays a role. With HS, your body produces too much of a protein called TNF-alpha. This, along with other proteins, leads to increased inflammation, which in turn leads to abscesses that may appear underneath or on the surface of your skin. So, you didn’t cause your HS. Inflammation did.
HS typically develops around age 21; although symptoms may start at any time between adolescence and middle age. Smoking and obesity are sometimes associated with HS, but they are not the cause of the disease.
Medical research suggests both men and women can get HS, but women are more likely than men to develop the disease. Around 1/3 of people diagnosed with HS have a family history of the condition.
Diagnosing HS as early as possible is important. This can be difficult, as HS can often be misdiagnosed as an infection. The average diagnosis time has been reported to be seven years from the first sign of symptoms.
It’s important for HS patients and people who think they may have HS to see a dermatologist who is trained to recognize and manage the disease. While many treatments have played a role in the management of HS, there has been no FDA-approved medication for the treatment of HS.
HUMIRA, or adalimumab, a prescription medication, is the first and only approved treatment for moderate to severe HS in people 12 years and older.
Worldwide, millions of people suffer from some type of HS, which can range in severity. It is estimated that up to 200,000 people have moderate to severe HS in the U.S. That's more than four and half times the capacity of the average professional baseball stadium. It's important to know that you are not alone and you are not to blame.
Ask your dermatologist about HUMIRA, the first and only treatment approved by the FDA for moderate to severe hidradenitis suppurativa in people 12 years and older.
HUMIRA can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. Serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. Before treatment, get tested for TB. Tell your doctor if you’ve been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you’ve had TB, hepatitis B, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. Don’t start HUMIRA if you have an infection.