Treatments for hidradenitis suppurativa

      Abstract

      Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is not easily treated. Although not uncommon, HS is often misdiagnosed outside specialized clinics and inappropriately treated as a simple boil or abscess. In recent years, guidelines have been developed on the basis of expert opinion and the available literature.
      A multifaceted approach is necessary as HS lesions include both inflammation (amenable to medical treatment) as well as fibrosis (amenable to surgery only). The recommended antiinflammatory therapies encompass both antimicrobials and regular anti-inflammatory drugs. We have, therefore, reviewed treatments with the following agents: clindamycin, tetracycline, rifampicin, ertapenem, dapsone, triamcinolone, infliximab, adalimumab, and anakinra. The development of new medical treatments, however, is an ongoing effort, and important new data have been presented since the publication of the guideline.
      The current approach to the management of fibrotic lesions is surgery. It is important, as manifest fibrosis is generally not susceptible to medical treatment. Here minor excision, carbon dioxide-laser, and major surgery are discussed, and current evidence supporting their use is provided.
      A comprehensive three-pronged approach with adjuvant therapy, medical therapy, and surgery is recommended. The importance of adjuvant therapy, that is, pain management, wound care, and attention, is stressed. Adjuvant therapy not only plays a major role in patients’ perception of a successful treatment but also is of practical importance to their coping and self-management.
      HS presents a significant unmet need, and this review provides a mechanistic update on the current real-world therapeutic option for the management of this distressing disease.
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