In rare cases, hidradenitis suppurativa can affect the neck and jawline. Certain medications can reduce symptoms and decrease scarring. Laser hair removal can also help treat hidradenitis suppurativa of the neck.

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic skin condition that causes lumps, or nodules, beneath the skin. Although these nodules are more common in areas like the groin or armpits, they can also occur in the neck.

Over time, nodules become larger and more inflamed. Abscesses form on the skin once these nodules burst. This ultimately leads to scarring, which can cover significant body areas.

This article will examine the latest research on hidradenitis suppurativa. Read on to learn about symptoms, diagnosis, causes, treatment options, preventions, and the outlook.

The symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa can differ according to the individual. Some typical symptoms of this condition include:

  • lumps or cysts on the skin that look like boils
  • narrow channels below the skin that ooze pus
  • abscesses
  • small holes in the affected skin

Hidradenitis suppurativa of the neck may look like cystic acne at first glance. Lesions and abscesses can mimic this condition, making it harder to diagnose.

However, hidradenitis suppurativa causes scarring distinct from other conditions. Raised, rope-like scars develop as abscesses heal. Nodules and channels leak pus and bloody discharge.

When this condition occurs on the neck, it can also cause large abscesses that look like masses or growths. These growths are large abscesses full of fluid.

In certain cases, hidradenitis suppurativa growths may block lymph nodes. This can lead to swelling in different parts of the body.

Most individuals with hidradenitis suppurativa also experience pain and discomfort. Affected skin regions can become very painful. Over time, hidradenitis suppurativa growths can also restrict movement and decrease mobility.

Learn about hidradenitis suppurativa on the face.

As hidradenitis suppurativa can mimic other conditions like acne, it can be difficult to diagnose. In most cases, a doctor makes a diagnosis based on the following:

  • the appearance of skin lesions
  • where these lesions occur
  • whether symptoms continue over time

Medical professionals may also use imaging techniques to visualize lesions below the skin. This can help them determine whether these lesions indicate hidradenitis suppurativa.

Individuals experiencing symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa should consult with a doctor. Only a medical professional can provide a reliable assessment and diagnosis.

The cause of hidradenitis suppurativa remains unclear, but researchers have found that certain risk factors make individuals more likely to develop this condition. These factors include:

  • a family history of hidradenitis suppurativa
  • overweight or obesity
  • smoking cigarettes

Hidradenitis suppurativa occurs when a hair follicle becomes clogged. When this follicle bursts, it releases bacteria and other materials. This can infect other hair follicles and increase symptoms in other body areas.

There is currently no cure for hidradenitis suppurativa, but certain treatments and lifestyle changes can reduce symptoms and increase the quality of life.

Treatment

Researchers have found that certain medications help decrease hidradenitis suppurativa symptoms.

A 2017 study found that adalimumab showed clinical benefits for individuals with this condition. This biological medication can decrease swelling caused by hidradenitis suppurativa.

Adalimumab is currently the only drug that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for hidradenitis suppurativa. Other medications have also shown promise. These include:

In advanced cases, a doctor may recommend surgical treatment. Surgical removal of lesions can improve symptoms quickly, but almost all cases of hidradenitis suppurativa recur after surgery.

Lifestyle changes

Making certain lifestyle changes can also reduce or prevent hidradenitis suppurativa symptoms. Individuals with overweight or obesity can relieve their symptoms by losing weight. In some cases, weight loss alone can eliminate these symptoms.

Smoking cigarettes may also increase the risk of developing this condition. Quitting smoking can help reduce the chance of symptoms developing or worsening.

When clothing rubs across affected skin areas, it can make symptoms worse. Individuals with hidradenitis suppurativa of the neck should avoid wearing shirts with tight collars or other garments that may irritate the neck.

Studies have shown that dietary changes can help prevent hidradenitis suppurativa lesions. Eliminating dairy and reducing sugar may prevent these and other symptoms.

One study found that 35% of participants with hidradenitis suppurativa experienced digestive issues. Reducing gluten, dairy, and carbohydrates helped improve symptoms among participants. Other strategies that helped reduce or prevent symptoms include:

  • laser hair removal
  • application of creams or lotions to the affected skin
  • use of topical antibiotics

Each case of hidradenitis suppurativa is unique. No single prevention strategy will be effective in every instance. Individuals with hidradenitis suppurativa of the neck should work with a doctor to find prevention strategies that work for them.

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic condition with no known cure. Individuals with this condition may struggle with:

  • embarrassment about their appearance
  • mental health issues
  • negative self-image
  • chronic pain

Hidradenitis suppurativa lesions on the neck are more visible than they might be in other areas of the body. This can make it hard to cover affected areas. In severe cases, this visibility may negatively affect mental health and lead to social isolation.

Chronic pain can also make it difficult to go about daily activities or enjoy hobbies, and a negative self-image can affect confidence and increase self-doubt.

Although hidradenitis suppurativa of the neck can be overwhelming, support is available. Different treatments and lifestyle changes can help get symptoms under control. With the right support team, individuals with hidradenitis suppurativa can lead full and engaged lives.

New studies are identifying even more treatment options. In the future, personalized treatments may ultimately lead to a cure for hidradenitis suppurativa of the neck.

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a skin condition that causes painful lesions and abscesses. It is most common in areas like the groin or armpits, but it can also affect the neck and jawline.

Current treatment options include medication, surgery, and lifestyle changes. Changing diets or quitting smoking can also help prevent this condition in those who are at risk.

Although there is no cure for hidradenitis suppurativa, treatments can help keep symptoms in check. Ongoing studies examine why this condition occurs and novel ways to treat it.