Hidradenitis Suppurativa: Update on Diagnosis and Treatment
Hidradenitis suppurativa, also called acne inversa, is a
chronic, debilitating skin disease characterized by painful, deep inflammatory lesions. These lesions, once believed to represent a disease of the sweat glands, now are thought to arise in the terminal hair follicles in the apocrine gland–bearing areas of the body. The regions typically affected are the intertriginous areas—the axillae, groin (genital, perigenital, anal, and perianal
areas), infra- and intermammary skin, buttocks, and upper thighs, although other areas—such as the nape of the neck and scalp—can be involved.
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Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a disease characterized by chronic follicular occlusion and secondary inflammation of the apocrine glands.
The diagnosis of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a clinical one based on characteristic history and physical exam. No confirmatory laboratory tests exist, and although histologic features can support the diagnosis or rule out alternate diagnoses, histologic findings alone are not diagnostic.
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a disease that must be considered and treated in a context much broader than just the consideration of skin lesions and sinus tracts. Clinicians who diagnose HS also must recognize and be prepared to manage the significant comorbidities and complications associated with this chronic, debilitating disease.
The treatment options for patients with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) include both surgical and medical modalities.