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Papers of the Week

2023 Jan 09

Life (Basel)



Hidradenitis Suppurativa Burdens on Mental Health: A Literature Review of Associated Psychiatric Disorders and Their Pathogenesis.


Caccavale S, Tancredi V, Boccellino M P, Babino G, Fulgione E, Argenziano G
Life (Basel). 2023 Jan 09; 13(1).
PMID: 36676137.


Skin, mental health and the central nervous system (CNS) are connected by a deep link. It is not only the aesthetic and sometimes the disfiguring aspects of dermatological conditions that can cause a severe psychological burden; also, different studies have shown how chronic skin-inflammatory diseases may influence the activity of the CNS and vice versa. Moreover, the skin and brain share a common embryogenic origin. Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting the hair follicles of the apocrine regions. The main clinical features are nodules, abscesses, cysts, fistulae and disfiguring scars. Pain and stinking discharge from fistulae are often present. It is not surprising that the psychological burden associated with HS is frequently a challenge in dermatologists' daily routines. Patients often suffer from depression and anxiety, but also from substance abuse, psychotic and bipolar disorders and an increased suicide risk. The aim of this article is to review the main psychiatric disorders associated with HS and their pathophysiology. Research on Pubmed was conducted with the key words Hidradenitis suppurativa, psychiatric, depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, abuse, suicidal. A high incidence of psychiatric disorders has been described in HS compared to controls. Hidradenitis suppurativa is not a rare disease, and acknowledging the HS psychological burden, psychiatric-associated diseases and associated biomolecular pathways will help dermatologists to better care for their patients.