Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic, recurrent, debilitating disease that presents with painful, inflamed lesions in the apocrine-gland-bearing areas of the body, most commonly the axillary, inguinal, and anogenital areas. Etiology traditionally has been attributed to occlusion of the apocrine duct by a keratinous plug; however, defects of the follicular epithelium also have been noted. Contributing factors include friction from axillary adiposity, sweat, heat, stress, tight clothing, and genetic and hormonal components. Multiple treatment regimens are available, including antibiotics, retinoids, corticosteroids, incision and drainage, local wound care, local excision, radiation, and laser therapy. However, no single treatment has proved effective for all patients. Radical excision of the defective tissue is the most definitive treatment. The psychological impact on the patient can be great, encompassing social, personal, and occupational challenges. This impact should be addressed in all patients with significant disease.