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autoimmune disease, hidradenitis suppurativa, quality of life, social media



  1. Fisher, Shani MA, RN
  2. Ziv, Michael MD


OBJECTIVE: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic autoinflammatory skin disease with a higher prevalence in women. The disease results in a low quality of life as well as physical and psychological comorbidities. The authors sought to determine the effects of HS on women's self-perception and life experiences.


METHODS: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 22 women of varying age and family status. The content was transcribed and subjected to both thematic and content analyses.


RESULTS: Five themes and a number of subthemes were revealed, involving physical, emotional, coping, and functional aspects. Somatic features, especially pain, were the most troubling issues, along with the emotional burden of shame and loss of femininity and intimacy. However, women also revealed strength and expressed optimism.


CONCLUSIONS: These findings reveal the inner world of women coping with HS, addressing multiple dilemmas, problems, and concerns. Healthcare providers should pay special attention to the specific needs of these patients. Additional research is needed to further shed light on the impact of HS on women.