Hormonal therapies for hidradenitis suppurativa: Review

Dermatol Online J. 2017 Nov 12;23(10):13030/qt6383k0n4.


Hidradenitis suppurativa is a recurrent inflammatory skin condition characterized by abscesses and boils, predominantly in the groin, armpit, and buttocks areas. HS is not a life-threatening condition, but severely impairs quality of life in those affected. Finding a successful treatment approach for HS has been challenging, in part because of the lack of a gold-standard treatment method, limited research-based information, and the nature of clinical variation in the disease. Treatment commonly consists of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory therapy, hormonal therapy, and more invasive clinical procedures. Treatment is chosen by the degree of severity by which the condition presents and is modified accordingly. This review describes the roles of hormones in the pathogenesis of hidradenitis suppurativa and describes the use of hormonal therapy such as, finasteride, dutasteride, spironolactone, and oral contraceptives. The outcomes of the use of these modalities in various clinical studies are summarized.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / therapeutic use
  • Dutasteride / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Finasteride / therapeutic use
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / drug therapy*
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / physiopathology
  • Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Spironolactone / therapeutic use


  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal
  • Hormones
  • Spironolactone
  • Finasteride
  • Dutasteride