Lumps in the groin and/or armpits, what could this be?

Lumps in the groin and armpits should not be there, and this is often immediately associated with cancer. In most cases, this is a condition called Hidradenitis Suppurativa, or acne inversa. In this article you can read the symptoms and treatment of this condition.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Hidradenitis Suppurativa, also called acne inversa, is a chronic inflammation of the hair follicles. In most cases this occurs in the groin and armpits, but can also occur on the buttocks?
Hidradenitis Suppurativa literally means purulent sweat gland inflammation. However, it is not the sweat glands that become inflamed but the hair follicles. Actually, this condition has a wrong name, but because this name has been around for a long time, everyone is used to using it.
When one of the hair follicles becomes inflamed, the opening where the hair comes out becomes clogged. When the hair follicle is clogged, nothing can get out and dander, skin cells and bacteria accumulate. At a certain point it breaks apart and this mixture ends up under the skin. Now inflammation will arise again and the mixture will try to find a way out through the skin. This is how fistulas arise. These are a kind of tunnels that are under the house.
When the fistula reaches the skin surface, the skin will swell and a lump will appear that is hard and painful to touch. At a certain point there is so much pressure on the skin that it breaks. The problem seems to be solved now, but it is not. Some of the mixture often remains in the fistula, which in turn causes inflammation. This remains a process that continues and will get worse if nothing is done about it.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms usually start with a bump that resembles an ingrown hair. Over time, the bump will get bigger and will sometimes burst open. Sometimes the bump disappears after a while, but it comes back after some time.
When a bump has burst, a lot of pus will come out and in some cases a hollow can even be seen in the skin.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa can be very painful. Sometimes people don’t feel comfortable in places like the swimming pool or sauna, where a large part of the body is exposed. This is because in some cases the scars can be very ugly. Sex life can also be severely limited by shame or pain.

How do you get it?

Nothing is yet clear about the origins of Hidradenitis Suppurativa. However, unhealthy lifestyle habits often play a role. Genetic determinations can also play a role.
People who smoke or are overweight have a high chance of developing Hidradenitis Suppurativa .

What is the treatment?

There are a number of different treatments for Hidradenitis Suppurativa;

  • Antibiotics; Initially, an attempt is made to control the inflammation with antibiotics. By taking this, the inflammation should not increase.
  • Excision; With this treatment, the inflamed hair follicle is removed and the wound is then sutured or left open. In some cases, the wound is left open so that it closes from the inside and fistulas cannot develop.
  • Deer robbing; During the treatment called Deroofing, the roof of the cavity is, as it were, burned shut. With this treatment, the wound is left open to allow the cavity to close from the inside.
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