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    Pearls for treating hidradenitis suppurative in kids

    Early Tx important to slow progression, prevent surgery, ID social struggles



    23-year-old African-American patient with severe Hurley stage III disease in the axillae that started at age 14Lifestyle modifications can help. It’s always good to remind patients when they’re younger that smoking might make HS worse and more difficult to control.

    “So trying to break those habits at an early age, or counseling them to avoid those habits in the future, is always part of what I do for young patients,” Dr. Sayed says.

    Weight often is an ongoing issue for these patients. Many HS teenagers are overweight and, ironically, having HS can make it harder for them to lose weight by being physically active.

    “They tend to gain weight over time,” Dr. Sayed says. “So, to be able to counsel them early on that trying to keep their weight as under control as possible and not gaining weight may help keep the disease from being as bad as it can be.”

    While by some estimates HS is an uncommon disease, it is often underreported and misdiagnosed so it may effect up to 2% of the population, according to the dermatologist.

    “About a third of patients will have their first symptoms of HS before age 18. That may be an underestimate,” Dr. Sayed says. “Patients often go for years without being diagnosed even though they’ve had symptoms for a long time.”

    Dermatologists who recognize HS in the pediatric population early and treat it aggressively before things get worse, could help patients avoid the need for surgery later on and could impact disease progression, he says.

    Disclosure: Dr. Sayed is a speaker and is on the advisory board for AbbVie, which manufactures adalimumab (Humira). 

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton is president of Words Come Alive, based in Boca Raton, Florida.


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