Current and emerging nonsurgical treatment options for hidradenitis suppurativa

Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2014 Jun;33(3 Suppl):S57-9. doi: 10.12788/j.sder.0094.


Several nonsurgical strategies for managing hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) are used that are successful in many patients. The overall goals of pharmacologic therapy are to clear or reduce the number and extent of current lesions and to prevent new lesions from forming. No pharmacologic agent is universally effective in all patients with HS, and, to date, none has been approved for this indication by the US Food and Drug Administration. Among the agents most commonly used are topical and systemic antibiotics and intralesional and systemic corticosteroids. Within the past decade, clinical experience with biologic agents-principally, tumor necrosis factor inhibitors-has been described, and the results of clinical trials with these agents in patients with HS have been promising.

Keywords: adalimumab; antibiotics; biologic agents; corticosteroids; hidradenitis suppurativa; infliximab; tumor necrosis factor inhibitors.

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • Etanercept
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / drug therapy*
  • Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Immunoglobulin G / therapeutic use
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Infliximab
  • Metformin / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / therapeutic use
  • Retinoids / therapeutic use
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Hormones
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Retinoids
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Metformin
  • Infliximab
  • Adalimumab
  • Etanercept