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Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a relatively rare condition in Malaysia, and there are no specific statistics on its prevalence in the country. However, it is estimated that the condition affects around 1% of the general population worldwide, and it is more commonly seen in women than men.

HS can be challenging to diagnose and treat, and many individuals may go undiagnosed for years before receiving an accurate diagnosis. In Malaysia, individuals with HS are encouraged to seek medical attention from a dermatologist or other qualified healthcare provider who has experience in treating the condition.



The exact cause of HS is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. HS can occur when hair follicles become clogged and inflamed, leading to the formation of painful abscesses, nodules, and cysts. Other factors that may contribute to the development of HS include hormonal imbalances, obesity, and smoking.


  • Painful abscesses, nodules, and cysts
  • Inflammation and swelling of the affected areas
  • Drainage of pus or other fluids from the affected areas
  • Formation of scars or tunnels beneath the skin
  • Recurrent flare-ups

HS can occur in any area of the body with sweat glands, but it is most commonly found in the armpits, groin, and buttocks. The severity of HS can range from mild to severe and can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life.


  • Topical treatments: Creams, ointments, and gels can be used to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. These treatments are usually applied directly to the affected areas.
  • Antibiotics: Oral or topical antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial infections that can occur with HS. Antibiotics can also help reduce inflammation.
  • Retinoids: Retinoids, such as acitretin, are vitamin A-based medicine that are used in treating hidradenitis suppurativa. Retinoids can only be prescribed by dermatologists.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are rarely used. They can reduce inflammation and pain. They can be taken orally or injected directly into the affected areas.
  • Biologics: Biologic medications, such as TNF inhibitors, can be used to reduce inflammation and prevent flare-ups. These medications are usually administered by injection.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove affected skin and tissue. Surgery can also be used to drain abscesses and remove scars.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Maintaining good hygiene practices
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing to prevent friction and irritation
  • Losing weight if overweight or obese
  • Quitting smoking
  • Managing stress levels

In conclusion, HS is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that can be painful and debilitating. Although there is no cure for HS, there are several treatment options available to help manage the symptoms. By working closely with a healthcare professional and making lifestyle changes, people with HS can improve their quality of life and manage their symptoms effectively.