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Associated Conditions

Though it affects the skin, HS is an inflammatory disorder, which means the condition is associated with certain faults in the immune system.1

There are a number of conditions that have been associated with hidradenitis suppurativa – some of these conditions include:1,2



Arthritis is known to cause pain and inflammation in the joints, typically worsening with age. It is a common condition with roughly 400,000 of the UK population with the condition.3,4 People living with HS are more likely to have arthritis than the general population.1,2

Crohn’s disease


Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes irritation of the digestive, or gastrointestinal (GI), tract. It most commonly affects the last section of the small intestine (ileum) or the large intestine (colon), but may occur anywhere from the mouth to the end of the rectum. Inflammation can damage sections of the GI tract over time, resulting in additional complications, such as narrowing of the colon.5



HS has been shown to affect people's quality of life.1 Evidence suggests that people with HS may experience depression.8 Depression is a medical condition that causes a persistent feeling of sadness, loss of interest and hopelessness. The severity of symptoms can vary from person to person.6



People with HS have a higher risk of cancer compared to the general population. Specific cancers reported include cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (skin), buccal (mouth) cancer and hepatocellular (liver) cancer.1 The occurrence of these cancers may be confounded by smoking. It is important to be monitored by a doctor for early detection.

Severe Acne


Characteristics of severe acne comprise mainly of deeply embedded solid nodules, inflammation and extensive skin damage. Affected areas may become infected, which may lead to scarring if not treated.10

Severe acne is associated with hidradenitis suppurativa, though there is a high possibility of misdiagnosis of acne in people living with HS.1

Additionally, HS can have an impact on the quality of life of people living with this disease.1 If you are living with any of these associated conditions, your GP may refer you to another specialist.

Talking to Your GP


If you think you may have hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), seeing your family doctor for an accurate diagnosis and useful information is an important first step in managing your condition.



  1. Jemec G. Hidradenitis Suppurativa. N Engl J Med. 2012; 366:158-64.
  2. Zouboulis CC, Tsatsou F (2012) Disorders of the apocrine sweat glands. In: Goldsmith LA, Katz SI, Gilchrest BA, Paller AS, Leffell DJ, Wolff K (eds) Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed, McGraw Hill, New York Chicago, pp 947-959.
  3. NICE guidelines [CG79] Published date: February 2009 accessed Oct 2nd 2014.
  4. Mayo Health Clinic. Arthritis. Published January 22, 2013. Accessed October 2nd, 2014.
  5. Mayo Health Clinic. Crohns. Available at: August 9, 2011. Accessed October 2nd 2014.
  6. Mayo Health Clinic. Depression. Available at: February 10, 2012. Accessed October 2nd, 2014.
  7. Collier F., Smith R., Morton C. Diagnosis and management of hidradenitis suppurativa. BMJ. 2013; 346:f2121
  8. Matusiak L, Bieniek A, Szepietowski J. Psychophysical Aspects of Hidradenitis Suppurativa. Acta Derm Venereol 2010; 90: 264–268.
  9. Vazquez BG. Incidence of Hidradenitis Suppurativa and Associated Factors. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. (2013) 133, 97–103.
  10. Torpy JM, Lymm C, Glass RM. Acne.JAMA 2004;292(6):764


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AXHUD141459a Date of Preparation Nov 2014

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