The causes are not well understood. However, it is believed to occur due to clogging of the hair follicles of the skin or the same openings of the sweat glands. This blockage could be as a result of body sweat or skin secretions such as sebum from the sebaceous glands. It then progresses as below:
- Blocked sweat glands continue to sweat.
- Sweat can not escape the surface of the skin and therefore is forced deeper into the surrounding tissue.
- The bacteria (germs) that normally live on the skin surface may have been trapped in the blocked gland or hair follicle. Bacteria can multiply in warm, moist environments.
- As the sweat is forced back deeper into the tissues, which carries the bacteria, it leads to inflammation, and sometimes infection. That’s how it is believed that boils in groin are formed, especially for starters.
- As the condition worsens, abscesses, containing pus develop.
When do the boils in groin erupt?
As already noted above, Hidradenitis suppurativa causes boils in groin. However, the boils do not occur in children, and develop only after puberty. This is because the sweat glands are activated by sex hormones whose levels increase during puberty. In women, it rarely develops after menopause. All these things suggest that hormones play a role in causing the disease.
On the other hand, they are more common in obese people and cigarette smokers. However, obesity and smoking are not direct causes although they can be considered as risk factors. Boils in groin as a result of a Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) infection also appear when one becomes a victim of acne and hirsutism (abnormal excessive hairiness, especially in women).
The wounds caused by boils and abscesses heal poorly, with scars. In severe cases, pus is formed down the tunnels beneath the surface of the skin. The channels (or tunnels) formed are called fistulas. Multiple areas of HS can be bound under the surface of the skin, a network of interconnected sinus passages. This means inflammation (and sometimes infection) travel more and becomes more widespread.
For many people affected, HS is a painful and debilitating condition. It has a tendency to explode regularly, gradually causing more problems. Deep scars and fistula formation is not uncommon.
Some people have only mild disease (stage 1). Early surgical treatment can (in some cases) cure the disease and prevent it from returning. In rare cases, the condition goes away on its own without treatment. HS is rarely a fatal disease unless there is an overwhelming infection in an immuno-compromised person (i.e., a person with an abnormal immune system).
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What is HS?
Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic long-term skin infection. The cause is unknown. It is, however, believed that inflammation of the support areas of apocrine sweat gland leads to painful and recurrent boils and abscesses. These areas, usually the armpits and the groin, when filled with pus, are difficult to cure. However, over time, healing occurs.
What causes this disease?
It may also be that some people’s sweat glands do not develop correctly and completely. These glands may not allow sweat to reach the skin’s surface. Instead, sweat is trapped and travels to surrounding tissues. Overall, about 1 in 100 people today have Hidradenitis suppurativa, meaning it is quite common. Many people have very minor problems with it.
HS most commonly affects people between 20 and 40 years. It is three times more common in women than in men. It is rare in Asians, and more common in Caucasian (white skinned) or Afro-Caribbean castes.