Pain management in hidradenitis suppurativa and a proposed treatment algorithm

Pain contributes substantially to reduced quality of life in individuals living with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). Although improved understanding of HS pathogenesis and treatment has resulted in improved evidence-based HS management guidelines, comprehensive pain management guidelines have yet to be developed. Little HS-specific data exist to guide pharmacologic analgesia, however, recognizing HS pain as either acute or chronic and predominantly nociceptive (aching and gnawing pain due to tissue damage) versus neuropathic (burning type pain due to somatosensory nervous system dysfunction) provides a conceptual framework for applying outside pain management practices to HS management. This manuscript incorporates the best available evidence from the HS and pain literature to propose an HS pain algorithm that integrates psychological, pharmacological, and complementary and alternative treatment modalities. 

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