Given the absence of significant improvement in the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) with traditional medical and surgical therapies, biologics have piqued the interest of research investigators. The efficacy of biologics in the treatment of inflammatory conditions like psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis is well-documented. More recently, success with biologics has been demonstrated in atopic dermatitis, another dermatological condition associated with inflammatory states. Researchers have begun to probe the utility of biologic agents in less prevalent conditions that feature inflammation as a key characteristic, namely, hidradenitis suppurativa. Five agents in particular adalimumab, anakinra, etanercept, infliximab, and ustekinumab, have been explored in the setting of HS. Results to date put forward adalimumab and infliximab as biologic treatments that can safely be initiated with some expectant efficacy. Other biologic agents require more rigorous examination before they are worthy of addition to the treatment armamentarium.
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