Dermatologic disorders

Skin Microbiome May Play a Role in HS Pathogenesis

In an attempt to shed light on the pathogenesis of the condition, a recent study investigated the follicular skin microbiome in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), finding that it differs significantly from that of healthy controls.

The case-control study used punch biopsy specimens from patients with HS, from both lesional and nonlesional skin, and healthy controls between October 1, 2014 and August 1, 2016. Overall, 30 patients with HS and 24 healthy controls from Denmark were included in the study. None of the participants received antibiotics within 1 month of the beginning of the study.

In lesional skin, types I and IV were predominantly seen, and type IV was not found in healthy controls.

“Several taxa, including Propionibacterium, showed a significantly higher relative abundance in healthy controls vs HS skin, indicating that Propionibacterium may be part of the pathogenesis in HS,” the researchers concluded.

“The study findings suggest a link between a dysbiotic cutaneous microbiome and HS.”

—Michael Potts


Ring HC, Thorsen J, Saunte DM, et al. The follicular skin microbiome in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa and healthy controls [published online May 24, 2017]. JAMA Dermatol. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.0904.