HS Linked to Negative Body Image


Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) was significantly associated with negative body image, according to the findings of a recent study.

The case-control, observational study included 46 participants with HS and 41 participants without HS matched by age, sex and body mass index (BMI). Participants were asked to complete the Frankfurt Body Concept Scale (FKKS) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The association between FKKS, HADS, and disease severity were assessed as the main outcome.

Overall, HS was associated with significantly reduced body image even after the researchers controlled for BMI. The mean FKKS score was 234.2 among participants with HS and the mean FKKS score was 276.9 among controls. In addition, the researchers found a correlation between body image disruption and BMI, HADS-depression score, and HADS-anxiety score.

However, body image was not associated with HS severity, age of disease onset, and duration of disease. The body contact subscale score was the only score that did not differ between participants with HS and controls.

“Patients with HS have major body image impairment, which might lead to depression and anxiety, disorders that have been largely acknowledged in HS,” the researchers concluded. “This study identified another element of the psychosocial burden of patients with HS and reveals that body image could potentially be used as an outcome measure in future studies of HS.”

—Melissa Weiss


Schneider-Burrus S, Jost A, Peters EMJ, Witte-Haendel E, Sterry W, Sabat R. Association of hidradenitis suppurativa with body image [published online February 21, 2018]. JAMA Dermatol. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.6058.