Hidradenitis Suppurativa: 2


One of the data sets explored reasons for these outcomes and attempted to understand how men and women experience HS. Compared with men, women were more concerned about physical appearance (89% vs. 79%), having diminished sexual desirability (90% vs. 87%) and vertical transmission of HS (51% vs. 27), while men were more likely to fear transmitting it to their partner (60% vs. 49%).

Significantly higher sexual distress as evaluated by the Frankfurt Body Concept Scale for Sexuality score was reported by women compared with men (P = .02), as was the impact on sex life as a function of HS as assessed by the Numeric Rating Scale (P = .021). Women with HS also had worse overall sexual health according to the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale score (P < .001).

Higher incidence of sexual dysfunction was reported among older men compared with younger men and among women with an older age at disease onset, according to the results.

Zeroing in on the increased impact of HS on women, the researchers suggested that higher rates of sexual distress may be explained by social stigmas, along with body image factors, differences in sexual physiology and arousal, and differences in the way HS is distributed in the body.

It was proposed that psychosocial and cultural expectations for physical appearance are different for women and men. Specifically, women reported correlation between physical disfigurement and sexual parameters. In addition, women felt increasingly pressured to modify behavior based on how HS is affecting their physical appearance.

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Kathy Andrews
Managing Editor
Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research