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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How is hidradenitis suppurativa diagnosed?

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  • 3


    Dr John Frew

    Dermatologist (Skin Specialist)

    Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is a clinical diagnosis. At the moment there is no blood test (or diagnostic biomarker) to diagnose the condition.

    diagnosis is based upon the "modified Dessau criteria" which are:

    1) Recurrent, Painful, Purulent lesions occuring AT LEAST twice within a 6-month period

    2) Occurance in a "typical" location such as armpit, groin, perineum, buttocks and inbetween/underneath the breasts (in women).

    3) Clinical signs including folliculitis-like papules, nodules or abscesses as well as secondary lesions such as pseudo-comedones, scars, tunnels or cysts.

    all 3 criteria must be present for a diagnosis of HS.


    other non- obligatory criteria include a positive family history of HS as well as multiple bacterial swabs demonstrating no growth or only commensal bacteria.

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