Acne inversa & Hidradenitis suppurativa

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is an inflammatory skin disorder with a chronic course. Some patients have a genetic predisposition but many do not. Depending on data survey results, this disorder affects between 0.05% - 2.10% of the population. Known triggers are smoking, intense perspiration, mechanical stimuli, and obesity.


Most commonly the disease affects the axillae, the groin, the genital, and the perianal areas, where HS symptoms manifest themselves in an individual manner depending on the patient. Oftentimes, inflammatory nodules, abscesses, and fistulae arise that can lead to scarring during the clinical course.



We elucidate the causes of the illness and determine the triggers or stimuli that contribute to renewed outbreaks.


In summary, disease symptoms are categorized in 3 stages according to Hurley.

Nearly all patients who smoke notice marked improvement of skin findings after they stop smoking. Decreasing any of the other above-mentioned inducing factors will also result in improvement of symptoms.

In general, the most effective method of treatment is wide surgical removal of abscesses and fistulae of the affected areas.

Antiseptic and antibiotic creams/solutions as well as antibiotics in tablet form can reduce germ counts on the skin and thus improve patients’ quality of life significantly.

Adalimumab (Humira®), a tumor necrosis factor α blocker, has been approved since 2016 for the treatment of acne inversa in patients with moderate and advanced disease stages.

Several off-label therapies such as zinc gluconate, botulinum toxin, low dose doxycycline, and a number of others, are promising but not (yet) authorized for the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa.

Patient Information

For more information on modern therapies of hidradenitis suppurativa, or to participate in a clinical study, please ask your family doctor to refer you to our hidradenitis suppurativa clinic.


Regularly, the Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Zurich organizes Patient Information Evenings; Details (if actually planned)

Patient Organization
Verein Akne Inversa Schwaiz

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