Hidradenitis Suppurativa - Associated Conditions

Though it affects the skin, hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is an inflammatory disorder, which means people with this condition have irregularities in their immune system.1

There are a number of conditions that have been associated with HS – some of these conditions include:2




Arthritis is known to cause pain and inflammation in the joints, typically worsening with age.3 It has been reported that 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.4,5

Nearly one-fifth of patients living with HS may be affected by Crohn’s disease.1,2




HS has been shown to have a negative effect on the quality of life for people with this disease. Evidence suggests that people with HS may also experience depression. 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.1,6-9



People with HS have a higher risk of cancer compared to the general population. Specific cancers reported include cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (abnormal cell growth in skin’s upper layers12), buccal cancer (cancer of the lining of the cheeks & back of teeth13) and hepatocellular cancer (liver cancer14).1

Severe acne



Characteristics of severe acne comprise mainly deeply embedded solid nodules, inflammation and extensive skin damage. Affected areas may become infected, which may lead to scarring if not treated.10,11

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

Additionally, HS can impact the quality of life of people living with this disease.1 If you are living with any of these associated conditions, your dermatologist or health care provider may refer you to another specialist.


  1. Jemec GB. Clinical practice. Hidradenitis suppurativa. N Engl J Med 2012;366:158–164.
  2. Fimmel S, Zouboulis CC. Comorbidities of hidradenitis suppurativa (acne inversa). Dermatoendocrinol 2010;2:9–16.
  3. Mayo Clinic. Arthritis. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/home/ovc-20168903. Accessed May 2015
  4. Arthritis in Canada. The Arthritis Community Research and Evaluation Unit for the Arthritis Society. Available at: https://www.arthritis.ca/document.doc?id=903. Accessed May 2015.
  5. Baumgart DC, Sandborn WJ. Crohn's disease. Lancet 2012;380:1590–1605.
  6. Mayo Clinic. Depression. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/basics/definition/con-20032977. Accessed May 2015
  7. Collier F, Smith R, Morton C. Diagnosis and management of hidradenitis suppurativa. BMJ 2013;346:f2121.
  8. Matusiak L, Bieniek A, Szepietowski JC. Psychophysical aspects of hidradenitis suppurativa. Acta Derm Venereol 2010;90:264–268.
  9. Vazquez BG, Alikhan A, Weaver AL, et al. Incidence of hidradenitis suppurativa and associated factors: a population-based study of Olmsted County, Minnesota. J Invest Dermatol 2013;133:97–103.
  10. American Academy of Dermatology. Acne: Who gets and causes. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/acne. Accessed May 2015
  11. Torpy JM, Lynm C, Glass RM. Acne. JAMA 2004;292:764.
  12. http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/squamous-cell-carcinoma. Accessed May 2016
  13. https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Health-Conditions/Buccal-Mucosa-Cancer-.aspx. Accessed May 2016
  14. https://canceraustralia.gov.au/affected-cancer/cancer-types/liver-cancer. Accessed May 2016