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January 29, 1973

Treatment of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Author Affiliations

Honolulu, Hawaii

JAMA. 1973;223(5):557. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220050056022

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To the Editor.—  Dennis Shaughnessy and his surgical associates are extrapolating their argument for surgical resection of lesions of hidradenitis suppurativa much too far on the basis of two advanced, neglected cases. Surgery is indicated in such cases, of course, but to resort to it is a confession of failure to have treated the disease properly in its early stages.Surgery is not indicated in early lesions; most cases can be controlled very well by a relatively brief period of intermittent steroid therapy—intralesional, when feasible; systemic, when not. Infection is a late complication, not a primary cause, of this disease.The subtitle of this paper should have been "A Plea for Operative Treatment in Late Cases."