What is hidradenitis suppurativa?

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS, also known as acne inversa) is a chronic inflammatory condition mostly affecting parts of the skin that rub or touch together (i.e. an intertriginous area) such as the axillary, groin, perianal and perineal areas, and underneath the breasts.

Learning objectives

After reading this article, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss the epidemiology, underlying pathophysiology and clinical presentation of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS)
  • Describe the various treatment options available, including both pharmacological and non-pharmacological agents
  • Discuss the role of the pharmacist in the management of HS.

Competencies (2016) addressed: 1.1, 1.4, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3.

Case scenario

Sara is 34 years old (body mass index [BMI] 30 kg/m2), and presents to the pharmacy with a history of recurrent boils on her left axilla and inner thighs. The nodules are painful and malodorous, and ooze into her clothing. She is very embarrassed about the condition, and avoids going out to see her friends as she doesn’t want others to see the boils. She was unable to become intimate with a recent partner, who became frustrated and ended the relationship. She has repeatedly seen her regular GP, who has treated her for folliculitis and boils.

Want to learn more? PSA members can access the full article and assessment questions here to earn up to 1.5 Group 2 CPD credits.

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