Hidradenitis

Suppurating inflammation of the sweat glands in the armpit or groin. There are special sweat glands at these sites which also produce body odour. The condition outwardly rather resembles a boil, but a boil is an inflammation of the hair follicles and not the sweat glands. Hidradenitis is caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. It is found on the skin’s surface, but causes infection only once it has penetrated deeper. In simple cases, inflammation of the sweat glands can be treated by an ointment which draws out the inflammation. It is sometimes necessary to remove the suppurating contents of the infected gland by making a small incision. In serious cases, in which the inflammation is widespread or recurs fequentiy, it may be necessary to cut away the entire skin of the armpit or groin. The skin which has been removed is replaced by drawing the skin from the surrounding area over the area of the operation. Although the skin is somewhat taut immediately after the operation, it grows again fairly quickly. Antibiotics are hardly ever administered because they fail to penetrate as far as the inflamed sweat glands.

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