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Clin Dermatol. 2014 May-Jun;32(3):397-408. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2013.11.006. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Hidradenitis suppurrativa (acne inversa) as a systemic disease.

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Department of Dermatology, A. Syggros Hospital, University of Athens, Athens, Greece. Electronic address:
Department of Dermatology, A. Syggros Hospital, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.


Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), also known as acne inversa, is a chronic follicular occlusive skin disorder characterized by recurrent abscesses, draining sinuses, and scarring, with a multifactorial pathogenesis. The answer to the question whether HS may be considered a systemic disease relies on the presence of accompanying systemic manifestations, on the proof of association with other diseases or conditions, and on the occurrence of systemic implications. We address these questions based on a systemic review of the existing literature. There are several reports in the literature of the coexistence of HS with other diseases, including pyoderma gangrenosum, PASH syndrome, Adamantiades-Behcet's disease, spondylarthropathy, Crohn's disease, SAPHO, pachyonychia congenita, Dowling-Degos disease, and the keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome. Case series exist only for Crohn's disease, while most other reports are anecdotal, thus, not providing high-quality scientific evidence. Based on well-designed studies, HS has been associated with the metabolic syndrome and with excess body weight or obesity. The link between HS and systemic associations may be attributed to common genetic or environmental factors or shared inflammatory pathways.

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