Lauren Claire Hollins

Lauren Claire Hollins, MD
Pennsylvania State University
College of Medicine
Department of Dermatology
Hershey, PA
2018 Clinical Research Grant Recipient

Investigating Dietary Association for Hidradenitis Suppurativa


Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic relapsing inflammatory skin condition that results in painful nodules, abscesses, and fistulas in intertriginous regions. HS is an important inflammatory skin disease to investigate due to a large negative impact on quality of life and a paucity of high-quality evidence to direct treatment. Treatment modalities for HS are limited and mostly off-label with high variability in the reported efficacy. Most of the clinical research about HS treatment is of low quality or absent from the literature. Antibiotics are a standard therapy for HS, yet many patients and clinicians have concerns about the risks of antibiotics. Thus, patients may be looking for alternative treatment options. Tara Grant, in her book The Hidden Plague, details her struggles with HS and her experimentation with different diets. She reports worsening with dairy, nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, bell peppers), gluten, and eggs.  This anecdotal report has taken root in the community of online HS forums and blogs. Thus, this study is critically important to help clinicians and people with HS make informed decisions about dietary alterations. One aim of our study is to test the hypothesis that HS severity differs based on dairy consumption in adults with HS. Our second aim is to test the theory that HS severity differs based on consumption of nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, bell peppers). Our third and final aim is to determine if HS severity differs based on total calories consumed by adults with HS.