Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic relapsing disorder of the folliculopilosebaceous units (FPSUs). Its negative impact on quality of life is extreme, mainly due to the lack of early recognition, accurate diagnosis, and appropriate management. The support structure of the FPSUs is defective. Under the influence of endogenous reproductive hormones, exogenous hormones, androgens and their precursors in dairy products, and other dietary factors, the follicular unit is plugged and distended by retained keratin. Friction, shearing forces, and pressure lead to rupture and leakage of the ductal contents from the weakened FPSU, causing an inflammatory reaction mediated mainly by the innate immune system. Therapy requires patient comprehension and cooperation, counseling, aggressive hormonal and dietary modification, avoidance of the trauma that leads to rupture, active multimodal anti-inflammatory therapy, and early unroofing and debridement. The full therapeutic program is needed to avoid the aggressive surgery required if the condition is not diagnosed early and managed appropriately.
Keywords: Hidradenitis suppurativa; acne inversa; dairy; diet; glycemic load; unroofing.
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