What is the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa? (212)-644-9494 New York, NY

What is the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa?

Treating hidradenitis suppurativa is difficult. It is best treated in the early stages before extensive scarring develops. However, it must be diagnosed correctly. The following are some of the treatment options:

Antibiotics - Oral antibiotics may help suppress the inflammation especially in mild cases, but they do not cure the disease. The same antibiotics that are used for acne are used for hidradenitis suppurativa, only in higher doses. These antibiotics include erythromycin, tetracycline, minocycline, and doxycycline. Topical antibiotics do not help.

Isotretinoin (Accutane) - Isotretinoin may be helpful in mild cases, but the response is unpredictable. Sometimes isotretinoin is used to reduce the size of the affected areas prior to surgery. Isotretinoin does have significant side effects and must not be used by pregnant women.

Steroid injection - Injecting a steroid into an inflamed lesion is sometimes helpful. The injection helps reduce inflammation and may be used if an area is especially painful. Steroid injections are normally combined with other treatments.

Surgery - In moderate to severe cases, surgery is the most definitive option. Taking out only the immediately affected area only leads to recurrence of the disease. The treatment of choice is called wide local excision. In this procedure, the affected area and surrounding normal tissue are surgically excised. The excision is not stitched back together but left open to heal from the inside out. Skin grafts may be placed in the excised area to speed healing.