Pain, Psychological Comorbidities, Disability, and Impaired Qualify of Life in Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Zarine S. Patel, Lauren K. Hoffman, Dawn C. Buse, Amy S. Grinberg, Ladan Afifi, Steven R. Cohen, Michelle A. Lowes, Elizabeth K. Seng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, painful dermatologic disease characterized by recurrent inflammatory nodules and abscesses of intertriginous areas such as the axilla and groin. People with HS suffer from greater pain and associated psychological comorbidities, including depression, anxiety, disability, and impairments in quality of life (QoL), compared to those with other dermatologic conditions. Our review focuses on the occurrence of pain and these relationships. Recent Findings: The existing literature indicates that acute and chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and disability all contribute to poor quality of life in individuals with HS. Despite the central role of pain and distress in the presentation of HS, few studies have empirically evaluated the impact of pain and gaps remain in the existing psychosocial literature. There are no formal guidelines for treating HS-specific pain or psychological comorbidities. Summary: The results of this review show a clear and pressing need to develop treatment recommendations and effective interventions for addressing acute and chronic pain, psychological comorbidities, disability, and impaired quality of life among people with HS. This review outlines a multidisciplinary approach to treating and managing pain and psychological comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number49
JournalCurrent pain and headache reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Disability
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa
  • Pain
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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