BACKGROUND: Hidradenitis suppurativa (Verneuil’s disease) is a chronic suppurative dermatosis involving apocrine glands with a severe impact on the quality of life, which is enhanced by the fact that the drugs usually prescribed are poorly effective.

OBJECTIVE: We discuss a new therapeutic approach based on zinc salts.

METHODS: We performed a pilot study on 22 patients, mainly from grade I or II in Hurley’s classification. All included patients had previously been prescribed a treatment (antibiotic, isotretinoin, surgery or anti-androgens), which was inefficient. They were then treated with 90 mg of zinc gluconate per day (15 mg zinc per Rubozinc capsule).

RESULTS: We observed a clinical response in all patients, with 8 complete remissions (CR) and 14 partial remissions (PR). When CR was obtained, the treatment was progressively decreased (average of 3.5 capsules/day); 4/22 patients experienced side-effects, mainly gastro-intestinal.

CONCLUSION: Zinc salts could provide a new therapeutic alternative for the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa.

Brocard A, Knol AC, Khammari A, Dréno B
Dermatology (Basel) 2007;214(4):325-7
PMID: 17460404