Insights into hidradenitis suppurativa

K. R. van Straalen, E. P. Prens, J. E. Gudjonsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, debilitating, inflammatory skin disorder with a prevalence of around 1% and a profound impact on patients' quality of life. Characteristic lesions such as inflammatory nodules, abscesses, and sinus tracts develop in the axillae, inguinal, and gluteal areas, typically during or after puberty. A complex interplay of genetic predisposition, hormonal factors, obesity, and smoking contributes to development and maintenance of the disease. HS is considered to arise from an intrinsic defect within the hair follicle, leading to follicular plugging, cyst formation, and subsequent rupture that in turn induce an acute inflammatory response characterized by elevated levels of IL-1β, IL-17, and TNF. Over time, acute lesions transition into chronic disease, with active draining sinus tracts accompanied by extensive fibrosis. HS is associated with other immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, and psychiatric comorbidities. Treatment of HS often requires a combination of antibiotic or immunosuppressing therapies and surgical intervention. Nonetheless, the currently available treatments are not universally effective, and many drugs, which are often repurposed from other inflammatory diseases, are under investigation. Studies into the early stages of HS may yield treatments to prevent disease progression; yet, they are hampered by a lack of appropriate in vitro and animal models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1150-1161
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

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© 2022 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology


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