Swallow in the armpit

This is one of those posts with an unsexy name but then, as it happened with the one of the styes or tripe , you end up stealthily reading. That I know. And is that,  who has not had a swallow in the armpit? At least, who has had it, does not forget it.

What is a swallow?

According to the SAR , the swallow chicken or a deserter soldier, but also, in its fifth and last definition: an infectious inflammation of the sweat glands of the armpit. 

Although RAE speaks only of inflammation of sweat glands, it is now considered to arise from an obstruction of hair follicles in areas of the body that also contain a high concentration of apocrine glands.

Why do swallows especially appear in the armpits?

Because the apocrine glands are mainly distributed in the armpits, the groins, the perianal, perineal and submammary regions, mainly being the areas where the nodules appear. When we talk about foot odor (another charming post) we already discussed the differences between eccrine and apocrine glands, with apocrines being responsible for smelly sweat.

Why do they call it a swallow when they mean hydradenitis suppurativa?

For obvious reasons: for “hidradenitis suppurativa” there was no one to remember and popular wisdom threw out a metaphor.

Who is affected by Hidradenitis suppurativa?

It affects around 4% of the population . Women are especially graceful with swallows and usually appear after puberty.

Swallow, how beautiful you are

Not really. Swallows, like styes , are uglier than hitting a parent . First, an induration appears in the form of a painful nodule that can form abscesses and drain spontaneously. The material resulting from the suppuration does not exactly smell good.

And all this, a good day. If the thing gets complicated, cavities can be formed that are interconnected and fistulized. If someone does not imagine it, you can consult the images of this link (I warn you, they can hurt the sensitivity of the reader).

Hidradenitis suppurativa worsens the quality of life of those who suffer it: it is a small torture.

Swallows Causes

It is not clear why the follicles are initially blocked and the nodules also tend to recur. It may be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Among the various factors that could trigger the golondrinos  highlights snuff (about 70% of patients are smokers usual), the obesity , the tight clothes , the heat and  the stress.   Although the use of deodorant and depilatory products has traditionally been considered to be the cause, it seems to be unrelated.

What is the swallow treatment?


Within general measures, quitting smoking, losing weight and maintaining proper hygiene with antiseptic soaps (such as Germisdin ) can be useful.


Regarding pharmacological measures, they must be individually assessed by the medical professional and range from topical treatment (antibiotics, corticosteroids, and retinoids) to oral treatment : antibiotics (clindamycin, metronidazole, or erythromycin), retinoids (isotretinoin), immunosuppressants, or dapsone , passing through intralesional corticosteroids .


Sometimes surgical intervention is necessary. In this case, radical excision, despite its possible complications, may offer better results than drainage, which is usually associated with recurrences. A publication from August 2015 shows how the traditional seton technique (fishing line) can offer good results.


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