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The following are thought to play a role in the development of hidradenitis suppurativa.
  • Genetics – frequently reported cases of hidradenitis suppurativa affecting multiple members of a family
  • Sex hormones – apocrine sweat glands are stimulated by androgen and suppressed by oestrogen (exact role these hormones play remains controversial)
  • Endocrine factors – obesity, hirsutism and acne are common findings among women with hidradenitis suppurativa
  • Cigarette smoking – hidradenitis suppurativa appears to occur more frequently in smokers than non-smokers