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December 1955

The Pathogenesis of Hidradenitis Suppurativa in Man: Experimental and Histologic Observations

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology (Dr. Donald M. Pillsbury, Director), University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Derm. 1955;72(6):562-565. doi:10.1001/archderm.1955.03730360068008

The experimental production of disease often permits a clearer view of etiologic factors than can be obtained in regular clinical study. This report records a technique for experimentally producing hidradenitis suppurativa in man and the histologic observations made of lesions of less than seven days' duration. It is hoped that these data will permit one to obtain a better understanding of the pathogenesis and nature of hidradenitis suppurativa.


The axillae of 12 normal male adult subjects between the ages of 20 and 40 were used as the test sites. A perforated belladonna adhesive tape was applied to one axilla, which had been manually epilated. The other axilla served as the control site.

One week later, biopsy specimens were secured from each axilla. These were serially sectioned and stained with hematoxylin and eosin.


In every subject apocrine anhidrosis developed in the taped areas, as revealed

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