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Dermatology Online Journal

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Vulvar and perineal verrucous changes complicating hidradenitis suppurativa after wide excision: a case and literature review


Poorly controlled and long-standing hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) increases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). We report a 54-year-old woman with an over 20-year history of HS, who had previously undergone wide perineal excision with secondary intention healing and presented with a painful verrucous vulvar plaque and proximal non-healing perineal wound. The patient had four perineal scouting biopsies performed and excisional biopsy with no evidence of high-grade dysplasia or carcinoma on histology. Chromogenic in situ hybridization was negative for HPV 16 and 18 mRNA; the patient's HIV and HSV PCR were also negative. Our patient was treated with interferon alfa-2b with notable clinical improvement. There is currently no standardized stepwise approach to monitoring verrucous lesions in HS patients with significant risk factors for SCC. Our report highlights a vigilant approach to monitoring. If scouting biopsies are negative, complete testing for high risk HPV strains (HPV 16 and 18) is warranted. If negative, we recommend follow up every 6 months with no further biopsies except if overt clinical changes are observed. We also recommend treatment of verrucous changes to decrease risk of possible malignant conversion. Interferon alfa-2b was effective in decreasing the verrucous lesion burden in our patient and may be considered.

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