Dermatologic disorders

HS Is Often Inadequately Treated

Although an array of pharmacological and surgical techniques are available for the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), individuals with the condition often receive inadequate treatment. 

In order to review the diagnosis, epidemiology, and treatment of HS, specifically concentrating on advances in these fields within the last 5 years, researchers conducted a literature search using PubMed, MEDLINE, and EMBASE including studies published from September 2011 to May 2017. Internet searchers for HS guidelines were also performed.

Overall, the researchers found that HS is more common than previous believed, based on epidemiological analysis (0.05% to 4.10%), and disability from HS can be significant.

Antibiotic treatment with combinations of clindamycin and rifampicin, or ertapenem followed by combination rifampicin, moxifloxacin, and metronidazole for 6 months is effective. Adalimumab is effective in a significant proportion of patients and treatment with IL-1 and IL-12 receptor subunit beta 1 (Rb1) antibodies may also be effective. Tissue-sparing surgical techniques and carbon dioxide laser treatments are available, but there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of these options.

“Hidradenitis suppurativa is more common than previously thought and may be treated by an array of pharmacological and surgical techniques. Hidradenitis suppurativa should be considered in the differential diagnosis of nodular lesions or sinus tracts present in the axillae, groin, perineal, and mammillary fold regions,” the researchers concluded.

—Michael Potts


Saunt DML, Jemec GBE. Hidradenitis suppurativa: advances in diagnosis and treatment. JAMA. 2017;318(20):2019-2032.