Hidradenitis suppurativa and zinc: a new therapeutic approach. A pilot study

Dermatology. 2007;214(4):325-7. doi: 10.1159/000100883.


Background: Hidradenitis suppurativa (Verneuil's disease) is a chronic suppurative dermatosis involving apocrine glands with a severe impact on the quality of life, which is enhanced by the fact that the drugs usually prescribed are poorly effective.

Objective: We discuss a new therapeutic approach based on zinc salts.

Methods: We performed a pilot study on 22 patients, mainly from grade I or II in Hurley's classification. All included patients had previously been prescribed a treatment (antibiotic, isotretinoin, surgery or anti-androgens), which was inefficient. They were then treated with 90 mg of zinc gluconate per day (15 mg zinc per Rubozinc capsule).

Results: We observed a clinical response in all patients, with 8 complete remissions (CR) and 14 partial remissions (PR). When CR was obtained, the treatment was progressively decreased (average of 3.5 capsules/day); 4/22 patients experienced side-effects, mainly gastro-intestinal.

Conclusion: Zinc salts could provide a new therapeutic alternative for the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Gluconates / administration & dosage
  • Gluconates / therapeutic use*
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Trace Elements / administration & dosage
  • Trace Elements / therapeutic use*


  • Gluconates
  • Trace Elements
  • gluconic acid