Are Hidradenitis and Rheumatoid Arthritis Related?

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

I am a 29 yr old non-obese female who was diagnosed with hidradenitis in 1992 and RA in 1993. I've seen info that shows a relationship between the diseases and would like more information. Anything would be helpful. Thanks.

Doctor's Response

I am unaware of hidradenitis suppurativa being related at all to rheumatoid arthritis. Hidradenitis suppurativa has been related to an inflammatory arthritis that can cause inflammation of many joints. While it could mimic rheumatoid arthritis, it is not true rheumatoid arthritis and has different associated features (notably that blood testing for rheumatoid factor is usually negative). Hidradenitis suppurativa has also been related to a rare disease that can be associated with joint inflammation (arthritis) called Behcet's disease.


"Hidradenitis suppurativa (acne inversa): Treatment"

"Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis"

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Reviewed on 10/17/2017