Hidradenitis Suppurativa: A Literature Review Comparing Current Therapeutic Modalities

Cureus. 2023 Aug 18;15(8):e43695. doi: 10.7759/cureus.43695. eCollection 2023 Aug.


Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a disease with a poor prognosis, often misinterpreted as an infection, with the highest impact on the patient's quality of life among all the assessed dermatological diseases. The main aim of this study was to compare various therapeutic interventions that are currently available for the treatment of HS. The pathogenesis of HS is not well understood, but it is mostly multifactorial involving a number of factors like genetic factors, androgens, local immunity, microflora, smoking, and obesity. Despite limited evidence on their effectiveness, topical antibiotics and antiseptics are commonly employed. Due to the colonization of bacteria and the presence of biofilms in the sinus tracts formed by HS lesions, systemic antibiotics are commonly employed as the primary form of therapy. In females with HS who experience menstrual flares or display symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome, hormonal agents are often considered to be a viable and effective therapeutic option. At present, the sole treatment approved by both the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency for addressing moderate to severe HS is adalimumab, an antibody that targets tumor necrosis factor alpha. Many surgical procedures in the management of HS aim to address inflammation by eliminating the affected folliculo-pilosebaceous unit, sinus tracts, and associated debris to impede further progression and scarring. HS continues to pose a considerable treatment challenge, necessitating a comprehensive approach for patients. However, the available evidence for most of these treatments is limited, indicating the need for more extensive research to identify the most effective interventions for managing HS.

Keywords: adalimumab; clindamycin; hidradenitis suppurativa; hidradenitis suppurativa complication; tnf alpha inhibitors; treatment for hs.

Publication types

  • Review