Hidradenitis suppurativa in children: What derms need to know
While hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is similar in teenagers and adults, an HS diagnosis in children younger than 11 should prompt dermatologists to look further at the potential cause, according to Christopher J. Sayed, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Sayed presented on HS in pediatric patients during the Hidradenitis Suppurativa/Acne Inversa: Current Medical and Surgical Management scientific session March 5 at the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.
“The teenage population is very similar to adults with hidradenitis suppurativa in a lot of ways. It’s going to skew to female patients, and patients who have issues with being overweight or have a tendency toward metabolic syndrome as they get older,” Dr. Sayed says. “For the patients that are under age 11, you should start to worry that there could be and underlying hormonal issue, like precocious puberty, which can be caused by a number of factors.”
Another thing dermatologists should keep in mind during this history taking and exam is how the HS might be impacting the patient socially.
“One thing to be particularly aware of in the pediatric population is the impact it has on their ability to attend school and their ability to be socially interactive,” Dr. Sayed says. “Many patients end up home schooling or missing a lot of school or isolating themselves socially because of their HS.”
Dermatologists should keep tabs on pediatric HS patients, looking for signs of depression and social isolation, so they can refer them to other specialists, if necessary, according to Dr. Sayed.
“If they’re having issues with depression and chronic pain, make sure that those are addressed appropriately. That can mean finding psychologists or chronic pain specialists to help focus on these issues,” he says.