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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Hidradenitis suppurativa


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Acne inversa
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How might hidradenitis suppurativa be treated?

There is no known cure or a consistently effective treatment. Initial treatments may involve conservative measures such as warm baths, hydrotherapy, and topical cleansing agents to reduce bacterial loads. Acute painful skin lesions may be treated with corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone) or anti-inflammatory pills (e.g., Celebrex, Advil, Naproxen, and others). Although not proven to be effective, antibiotics are often the mainstay of medical treatment, especially for lesions suspected of being super infected. Affected individuals may also be treated with oral contraceptives or other medications that address a possible hormonal cause. Oral retinoids such as isotretinoin have also been used. Other treatments that have been used with limited success include cisplatin, methotrexate, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, and TNF-alpha inhibitors.[1][2]

In advanced cases, affected individuals may undergo surgery (e.g., laser therapy or photodynamic therapy), but recurrences of HS are not uncommon. Systemic therapies are still being researched. The goals of these therapies are to heal existing lesions and prevent the development of new lesions in the areas potentially affected by the disease.[1] [2]
Last updated: 6/7/2011

  1. Pokala N & Geibe J. Surgery for Hidradenitis Suppurativa . eMedicine Journal. April 2008; Accessed 6/7/2011.
  2. Jemec G . Medical treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa. Expert Opin. Pharmacother. 2004;

Clinical Trials & Research for this Disease

  • lists trials that are studying or have studied Hidradenitis suppurativa. Click on the link to go to to read descriptions of these studies.