American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 111–123 | Cite as

The Medical and Laser Management of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

  • Rosalind Hughes
  • Genevieve Kelly
  • Cheryl Sweeny
  • Aoife Lally
  • Brian Kirby
Review Article


Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, debilitating skin disease characterized by painful recurrent nodules and abscesses. In advanced stages, sinus tracts form, with resulting fibrotic and cribriform scar formation, leading to dermal contractures and induration of the affected skin. The epidemiology of HS is poorly described, and few population-based studies exist. The reported incidence varies from 0.0003 to 4 %. Effective treatment options for HS are limited, and randomized controlled trials addressing the safety and/or efficacy of available treatments are scarce. No medical treatment to date has been approved by the US FDA specifically for the treatment of HS. While some evidence of disease improvement exists with agents including clindamycin and rifampicin, metformin, fumarates, infliximab, and adalimumab, no single treatment has shown overwhelmingly positive outcomes. The lack of randomized controlled trials for most treatments and often disappointing treatment outcomes is disheartening. This study reviews the published evidence for treatment options for HS.


Metformin Infliximab Adalimumab Dapsone Anakinra 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors confirm that no funding was received in relation to the writing of this article.

The authors, Dr. Rosalind Hughes, Dr. G Kelly, Dr. A Lally, and Dr. C Sweeny do not have any relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.

Professor Brian Kirby has received research grants from the following: Pfizer, Abbvie and Merck-Sharp-Dohme. He has also worked as a consultant and advisor for the following: Pfizer, Abbvie, Roche, Merck Sharpe & Dohme, Novartis and Jansen.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosalind Hughes
    • 1
  • Genevieve Kelly
    • 1
  • Cheryl Sweeny
    • 2
  • Aoife Lally
    • 1
  • Brian Kirby
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DermatologySt. Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.Dermatology Research Group, Education and Research CentreSt. Vincent’s University HospitalDublinIreland

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