Hidradenitis suppurativa: a review


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Marni C. Wiseman, CancerCare Manitoba, ON2054, 675 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3E 0V9, or email: mwiseman@excite.com.


ABSTRACT:  Hidradenitis suppurativa is a recurrent disease involving apocrine-bearing skin with a predilection for intertriginous areas, including genital skin. It has a highly variable clinical course. Mild cases may present as recurrent isolated nodules, while severe instances of the disease with chronic inflammation may lead to scarring, functional impairment, and rarely, squamous cell carcinoma. While genetic factors, patient characteristics, hormones and infection play a role in disease expression, a comprehensive understanding of the pathogenesis remains to be elicited. Additionally, effective treatment is largely unknown. While the mainstay of therapy had been surgery, and topical or systemic antimicrobial agents, other therapeutic modalities such as retinoids, hormonal therapy and immunosuppresive medications may also hold some promise.