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Absence of efficacy of oral isotretinoin in hidradenitis suppurativa: a retrospective study based on patients' outcome assessment.

BACKGROUND: In analogy to acne, oral isotretinoin has been considered in the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS).

OBJECTIVES: To assess the efficacy of oral isotretinoin according to patients.

METHODS: From 1999 to 2006, 358 consecutive HS patients were interviewed and examined. A standardized record of the data was performed for each patient during the first consultation. Patients were questioned regarding the effect of previous treatment with oral isotretinoin: patients had to grade the effect as either 'improved', 'no effect' or 'worse'.

RESULTS: Fourteen patients (16.1%) declared an improvement, 67 patients (77%) no effect and 6 patients (6.9%) worsening of HS.

CONCLUSION: According to our patients, oral isotretinoin is not effective in the treatment of HS.

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