Journal Articles

Back to basics: understanding hidradenitis suppurativa

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Back to basics: understanding hidradenitis suppurativa

Trudie Young
22 March 2018

Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is a chronic recurrent debilitating skin disease of the hair follicle. It is a condition that has been overlooked in wound care publications, with most articles found in dermatological journals. However, the condition affects 1% of the population in Europe and produces painful nodules in one or more of the apocrine-gland bearing aspects of the skin that can ulcerate and produce pain and a foul odour and can multiply and eventually develop sinus tracts and fistulae. HS is often misdiagnosed as alternative skin ulcerating conditions, leaving the individuals with many years of suffering from the physical symptoms and their psychological consequences. The disease often begins in puberty and burns out by middle age, leaving the individual with unsightly scarring. This article examines the pathophysiology, clinical presentations and comorbidities associated with the disease. The treatment options focus on controlling the comorbidities, moderating life-style behaviours and arresting the disease. The medical and surgical options are discussed along with their limitations.

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