How To Accurately Diagnose Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

Speak to your doctor about your skin and Hidradenitis Suppurativa



If you believe you have hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) and are experiencing painful nodules or boils, it’s important to speak to your doctor as soon as possible. Their experience of skin health will enable them to assess your condition and provide an accurate diagnosis. HS is not that widely known, so some general practitioners (GPs) will not be familiar with it. 

The reported prevalence of HS is about 1% in the general population.1 However, because the condition is often misdiagnosed and many people living with HS don’t always feel comfortable talking about their symptoms or seek help, the number of people who are actually diagnosed is far less than this estimate.2,3,4

If you are reading this because you know someone who is experiencing HS encourage him or her to create a discussion guide and to speak with their doctor. The first step is to speak to your GP who may refer you to a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis.


  1. Revuz J. Hidradenitis suppurativa. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2009;23:985–998.
  2. Esmann S, Jemec GB. Psychosocial impact of hidradenitis suppurativa: a qualitative study. Acta Derm Venereol 2011;91:328–332.
  3. Jemec GB, Heidenheim M, Nielsen NH. The prevalence of hidradenitis suppurativa and its potential precursor lesions. J Am Acad Dermatol 1996;35:191–194.
  4. Dufour ND, Emtestam L, Jemec GB. Hidradenitis suppurativa: a common and burdensome, yet under-recognised, inflammatory skin disease. Postgrad Med J 2014;90:216–221.