Non-surgical treatments for hidradenitis suppurativa: A systematic review

Hidradenitis suppurativa Research

Author(s): Robert E, Bodin F, Paul C, Konstantinou MP, Gall Y, Grolleau JL, Laloze J, Chaput B

INTRODUCTION: The management of hidradenitis suppurativa is multidisciplinary, involving general measures, medical treatment and surgery. Non-surgical treatments, often first-line procedures, mainly concern forms of low-to-moderate severity or, conversely, very severe forms in non-operable patients or those refusing surgery. While many treatments have been attempted, few randomized controlled trials have been conducted, so the choice of treatments is most often based on the personal experience of the clinicians. The objective of this systematic review is to propose a synthetic analysis of the currently available non-surgical procedures.

METHODS: This systematic review of the literature was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA criteria. We searched for articles in the Medline(®), PubMed Central, Embase and Cochrane databases published between January 2005 and September 2015.

RESULTS: Sixty-four articles were included. They generally had a low level of evidence; indeed, the majority of them were retrospective observational studies. They involved biotherapy (44%), dynamic phototherapy (16%), antibiotics (11%), Laser (8%), retinoids (6%) and immunosuppressive therapies, anti-inflammatory drugs, zinc, metformin, gammaglobulins and fumarates.

CONCLUSIONS: None of the non-surgical treatments can treat all stages of the disease and offer long-term remission. Antibiotics and biotherapy seem to have real effectiveness but their effect remains suspensive and the disease is almost certain to reappear once they are stopped. As regards antibiotics, no association has shown their superiority in a study with a high level of evidence. And while some biotherapies seem quite effective, due to their side effects they should be reserved for moderate-to-severe, resistant or inoperable forms of the disease. Randomized controlled studies are needed before valid conclusions can be drawn. In the resistant or disabling forms, it is consequently advisable to orientate to the greatest possible extent towards radical surgery, which is the only treatment allowing hope for cure.

Dermatology Journal and/or Publisher

Journal Name: Annales de chirurgie plastique et esthetique
Journal Abbreviation: Ann Chir Plast Esthet
Journal Date Published: 2017-05-01

National Center for Biotechnology Information

PMID: 28457725
Article Source:
Lasted Revision: 2017-07-18

Abstract Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine Abstract Query for Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS).


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