The Pathogenesis, Risk Factors, and Comorbidities Associated with Hidradenitis Suppurativa: A Systematic Review


  • Róisín Guihen School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Ireland
  • Jack Latvis School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Ireland
  • Honora MacNamara School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Ireland
  • Emma Quinn School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Ireland
  • Sarah Hennessy School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Ireland
  • Cian Meagher School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Ireland
  • Julie MacMahon School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Ireland; Department of Dermatology, Tallaght University Hospital, Tallaght, Dublin 24, Ireland


Hidradenitis suppurativa, Acne inversa, Systematic review


Introduction: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease primarily affecting the apocrine gland-rich areas of the body. It presents with painful nodules, abscesses, sinus tracts, and scarring.

Methods: A literature review of hidradenitis suppurativa was conducted by systematically searching relevant databases with a focus on the pathogenesis and risk factors associated with the disease.

Results: Evidence relating to pathogenesis and HS thus far supports an inflammatory component with dysregulation of the innate and adaptive immune system. However, research is ongoing in this area and many questions remain unanswered. The risk factors that have been most consistently associated with HS to date include high weight/ obesity, smoking, and female sex. Comorbidities in patients with HS encompass metabolic, endocrine, psychiatric, and inflammatory diseases.

Conclusion: Further research is warranted to enable clinicians with the knowledge necessary to manage patients presenting with HS and to deliver patients the disease-modifying treatment and care that they require. Several practical points may be discerned from research regarding risk factors and diseases associated with HS. These include raising the index of suspicion for certain physical diseases and mental conditions in patients with HS and lowering the biopsy threshold for certain malignancies.


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How to Cite

Guihen, R., Latvis, J., MacNamara, H., Quinn, E., Hennessy, S., Meagher, C., & MacMahon, J. (2022). The Pathogenesis, Risk Factors, and Comorbidities Associated with Hidradenitis Suppurativa: A Systematic Review. Trinity Student Medical Journal, 21(1), 14–19. Retrieved from