Somatosensory Profiles Characterized in Hidradenitis Suppurativa
HS lesions insensitive to innocuous cold and warmth, noxious heat, and light touch compared with healthy pain-free controls
By Dermsquared Editorial Team | September 20, 2023
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 20, 2023 -- Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) seems to involve local changes in the skin or its free nerve endings that may lead to peripheral neuropathy, according to a study published online Sept. 13 in JAMA Dermatology.
Ali Alsouhibani, P.T., Ph.D., from the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues characterized somatosensory profiles in patients with HS at clinically affected and nonaffected sites compared to pain-free reference data in a cross-sectional study. Twenty adults with dermatologist-diagnosed HS and at least one painful HS lesion at the time of testing were included in the study.
The researchers found that HS lesions were insensitive to innocuous cold and warmth, noxious heat, and light touch compared with site-specific reference values from healthy, pain-free control participants. Significant hypersensitivity to deep pressure pain and cutaneous pinprick was also seen for HS lesions. The control site also demonstrated hypersensitivity to deep pressure pain. Changes in pain processing that are often seen in neuropathic and nociplastic pain conditions were displayed by a subset of patients with HS, including hypersensitivity to repetitive pinprick, paradoxical thermal sensations, and pain upon light stroking of the skin (26, 15, and 50 percent, respectively).
"Additional studies that evaluate the association between quantitative sensory testing findings and other measures of small nerve fiber function across a broader population of patients with HS are needed to further elucidate cutaneous sensory changes that may contribute to pain and itch in HS," the authors write.
One author disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.