Commentary

Treatment includes surgery


Robert L. Barbieri, MD


 

Treatment includes surgery

Thank you for the great article about hidradenitis suppurativa. It was very informative as usual, but a little shortsighted. As ObGyns we tend not to focus so much on these dermatologic conditions. However, I think something very important is missing in the article. I do not see it mentioned that hidradenitis suppurativa is a type of acne, also called acne inversa. As such, it should be treated like acne, with special attention to diet with zero dairy products as a prevention measure. Also, metformin is very important, as noted in the article. Retinoids are also needed, maybe for years.

According to experts, the primary approach to this condition is surgical, with punch biopsies and unroofing of the lesions, with medical therapies as prevention strategies. Fortunately, special task forces are now tackling this condition, especially in Europe. I strongly recommend the book, Acne: Causes and Practical Management , by F. William Danby.

Ivan Valencia, MD
Quito, Ecuador

Dr. Barbieri responds

Dr. Valencia provides an important perspective on the surgical treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). I agree that surgery is an important treatment for Stage III HS, but nonsurgical approaches are preferred and often effective for Stage I HS, a stage most likely to be treated by a gynecologist.

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