Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic skin disorder characterized by abscesses, nodules, and fistulae that can cause discomfort, pain, drainage, scarring and self-consciousness among patients. When other therapies prove ineffective, biological treatments can help reduce symptoms for a more comfortable day-to-day life. At HMGS Dermatology, our team of skilled dermatologists and physician assistants will work with you to determine if biological treatments are a good match to help improve your symptoms.
What are Biological Treatments for Hidradenitis Suppurativa?
The FDA has approved adalimumab (Humira) as an effective treatment for hidradenitis suppurativa. It works by targeting a specific protein called TNF-alpha that is thought to play a role in triggering inflammation that contributes to hidradenitis suppurativa symptoms. Reduced inflammation inside of your body may lead to a reduction in the number of nodules and abscesses that are seen on the skin.
Currently, other biologic treatments are also being studied to treat hidradenitis suppurativa.
Who is a Good Candidate for Biological Treatments for Hidradenitis Suppurativa?
Individuals 12 years of age and older with moderate-to-severe hidradenitis suppurativa that have not responded to other treatment options can benefit from biologic treatment. Be sure to tell your dermatologist if you have a high risk of infection, have a history of cancer, have other medical conditions, have issues with other vital organs, are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding before taking biologic treatments. The best way to determine if biologics are a good option for you is through a consultation with one of our dermatology specialists.
What to Expect During Biological Treatments for Hidradenitis Suppurativa?
Humira is administered through self-injection at home or at our office. Your dermatologist will direct you on how much medication to take and when to take it. Some individuals may have a long-lasting response to biological treatment, while others may see a loss in efficacy over time. Each patient is unique and responds to this treatment in their own way, so our team will guide you through your treatment based on how you are responding.
Biological Treatments for Hidradenitis Suppurativa FAQs
Is hidradenitis suppuritiva contagious?
No, hidradenitis suppuritiva is not contagious.
Can hidradenitis suppuritiva be cured?
There is no current cure for hidradenitis suppuritiva. However, biologic treatments such as Humira can help relieve symptoms.
How long does HS take to go away?
Hidradenitis suppuritiva symptoms can last for years without treatment. Early treatment can help reduce flare ups and symptoms faster.
How do I use Humira?
Humira is administered by an injection, which you should perform once every other week. Your dermatologist will teach you how to properly inject Humira.
How should I store Humira?
Humira should be stored in a refrigerator, away from light, and in its original container.
Following Biological Treatments for Hidradenitis Suppurativa
Individuals may begin to see improvement in their symptoms after about three months, however, biologics can take some time to kick in. Possible side effects include injection site reactions, headaches, rash, and nausea. Because Humira works by altering the immune system, it may increase your risk for certain infections and cancers. Contact our office right away if side effects occur, as we may need to adjust your medication dose or discontinue treatment.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about how biological treatments can help to improve your hidradenitis suppurativa, contact our office today. We will be happy to schedule your initial consultation with one of our dermatology providers, during which you will discuss your disease and symptoms with the doctor, and an individualized treatment plan will be created.
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