An Update on Medical Treatment Options for Hidradenitis Suppurativa
Drugs , Volume 76 - Issue 2 p. 215- 229
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by recurrent inflammatory nodules mostly located in the armpits and groin. Over the years multiple treatments for HS have been proposed; however, to date a cure is still lacking. In this update we provide an overview of most drug treatments reported on for HS, where possible with their mode of action and side effects. In mild cases, clindamycin lotion or resorcinol cream have proven effective. Tetracyclines are a first-line systemic option in more widespread or severe cases, followed by the combination of clindamycin and rifampicin. However, the recurrence rate is high after discontinuation of clindamycin plus rifampicin combination therapy. Long-term treatment with retinoids, especially acitretin is feasible, although teratogenicity has to be taken into account in females of reproductive age. Multiple anti-inflammatory drugs have been suggested for HS, such as dapsone, fumarates or cyclosporine. However, their effectiveness in HS is based on small case series with varying results. If most common treatments have failed, biologics (e.g., infliximab or adalimumab) are the next step. Although not addressed in this review, surgical interventions are often needed to achieve remission.