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Can Fam Physician. 2017 Feb;63(2):114-120.

What is hidradenitis suppurativa?

Author information

1
Internal medicine resident at the University of Toronto in Ontario. erika.lee@mail.utoronto.ca.
2
Assistant Professor in the Division of Dermatology at the University of Toronto.
3
Assistant Professor and full-time staff dermatologist in the Division of Dermatology at the University of Toronto.
4
Professor in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Toronto, and Head of Dermatology at Sunnybrook and Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.
5
Lecturer in the Division of Dermatology at the University of Toronto.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To provide family physicians with an understanding of the epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis, and management of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS).

SOURCES OF INFORMATION:

A PubMed literature search was performed using the MeSH term hidradenitis suppurativa.

MAIN MESSAGE:

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic, recurrent, and debilitating skin condition. It is an inflammatory disorder of the follicular epithelium, but secondary bacterial infection can often occur. The diagnosis is made clinically based on typical lesions (nodules, abscesses, sinus tracts), locations (skin folds), and nature of relapses and chronicity. Multiple comorbidities are associated with HS, including obesity, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and spondyloarthropathy. Although the lack of curative therapy and the recurrent nature makes HS treatment challenging, there are effective symptomatic management options.

CONCLUSION:

Family physicians should be suspicious of HS in patients presenting with recurrent skin abscesses at the skin folds. Family physicians play an important role in early diagnosis, initiation of treatment, and referral to a dermatologist before HS progresses to debilitating end-stage disease.

PMID:
28209676
PMCID:
PMC5395382
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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