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Hidradenitis suppurativa

8 June 2012, by REVUZ J.


  • Hidradenitis suppurativa or Verneuil’s disease is a common disorder, particularly in women, but many healthcare professionals are not familiar with it.
  • It is characterised by painful nodules, abscesses, fistulas and hypertrophic "bridged" scarring in apocrine gland-bearing areas of the body, mainly the deep folds of the axillary, inguinal and anogenital regions. It is a chronic disease.
  • Smoking is thought to be a trigger although there is no evidence to suggest it is a risk factor; being overweight appears likely to be a risk factor although the aetiology has not yet been elucidated: this is a hair follicle disorder that is neither infectious nor hormonal in origin.
  • The serious, dramatic forms are not the most common.
  • Impact on quality of life is severe even with the moderate forms.
  • Treatment is both medical AND surgical, involving broad spectrum antibiotics and surgical removal of the affected area.
  • The potential utility of anti-TNFs and some lasers is currently being studied.

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