News Release

The role of the gut microbiota in inflammatory skin diseases

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Say Communications

LUGANO, 7 May, 2021- Findings presented at today's EADV 2021 Spring Symposium suggest that an imbalance in gut microbiota (dysbiosis), could play a significant role in the progression of inflammatory skin disease, Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS). HS is a painful, long-term skin condition, with a chronic and relapsing nature that significantly impacts patients' quality of life.

Researchers at Hacettepe University collected faecal samples from 15 patients with HS and 15 age and sex matched healthy individuals and analysed regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene to investigate differences in their gut microbiota. Researchers found that the relative abundance of three genera of bacteria (known collectively as Firmicutes), unclassified Clostridiales, unclassified Firmicutes and Fusicatenibacter in HS patients were significantly lower than that in controls (p = 0.005, p = 0.029, and p = 0.046, respectively). Reduced amounts of these bacteria are known to disrupt the regulatory balance within the gut and stimulate an inflammatory response.

The human gastrointestinal tract is inhabited with a wide variety of bacterial organisms, known collectively as the gut microbiome.1 Studies have increasingly demonstrated that the gut microbiome and skin are intrinsically connected, offering defence against pathogens in the environment. This relationship is known as the 'gut-skin axis' and has been linked to many inflammatory and autoimmune skin disorders, such as acne and psoriasis. This connection inspired the researchers to characterise the composition of HS patients' intestinal microbiome, hypothesising that imbalance may play a role in the high inflammatory burden of this condition. HS is a multifactorial disease caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Obesity and smoking can significantly exacerbate symptoms, and both of these have an impact on the gut microbiome.

Dr Neslihan Demirel Ogut, Usak University Training and Research Hospital explains, "Our research provides evidence the gut-skin axis is implicated in the progression of this chronic inflammatory skin disorder. While further evidence is required, our research suggests that dietary alteration and personalised probiotic supplementation might also be beneficial for HS patients, particularly since treatment options are limited for these individuals."

Gut microbiota plays a critical role in human health through development of the immune response, controlled by specific pathways and the products of metabolism, known as short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). Bacteria in the gut (such as Firmicutes) produce these SCFAs that ensure a balance between immune cells that stimulate or suppress an inflammatory response is maintained. Any disruption to this balance, as demonstrated by the reduced abundance of these organisms in the gut microbiome of HS patients, may induce an unwanted inflammatory response.

Additional research is required to further understand and explain the connections between the gut microbiota and excessive inflammatory state in HS patients. "As one of the preliminary studies investigating HS, this pioneering research lays the foundation for future research into the management of this debilitating condition. It is an exciting breakthrough in a topic currently at the forefront of scientific research," says Marie-Aleth Richard, EADV Board Member and Professor at the University Hospital of La Timone, Marseille.


Notes to Editors

A reference to the EADV Spring Symposium or EADV Spring Symposium 2021 must be included when communicating any information within this press release.


For further information or to arrange an expert interview, please contact:

Lewis Picton - EADV Press Officer
+44 (0) 208 971 6419

Sophie Graham - EADV Press Officer
+44 (0) 208 971 6413

Catriona Martin - EADV Press Officer
+44 (0) 208 971 6412

About Hidradenitis Suppurativa:

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, relapsing, inflammatory skin condition that typically occurs after puberty.3 The primary clinical presentation is painful inflamed nodules or boils in the apocrine gland-bearing regions (armpits, genital area, groin, breasts and buttocks/anus) that progress to abscesses, sinus tracts and scarring.4 Estimated prevalence is 1-4% worldwide and HS is three times more common in women than men. The presentation of the disease is distinct, yet HS is not well-recognised except in dermatology clinics.

About EADV

Founded in 1987, EADV is a leading European Dermato-Venereology Society with the important aims of improving the quality of patient care, furthering knowledge and education of dermatologists and venereologists globally through innovation, and advocating on behalf of the speciality and patients. EADV collaborates with other organisations to provide a strong and clear voice to influence the European health agenda. It is a non-profit organisation with over 7,000 members across 113 different countries in the world, providing a valuable service for every type of dermato-venereologist professional.

To find out more visit

About EADV Spring Symposium 2021:

EADV Spring Symposium - A New Season for Dermatology and Venereology, is one of the most important, CME-CPD accredited all-virtual events in the Dermato-Venereology calendar. The 2-day Scientific Programme is bursting with new findings and scientific breakthroughs, providing a unique opportunity to both hear the latest in Dermato-Venereology and connect with leading experts. To find out more visit


1. Silva YP, Bernardi A, Frozza RL. The role of short-chain fatty acids from fut microbiota in gut-brain communication. Front. Endocrinol. 2020 Available from: April 2021

2. Bukin, Y., Galachyants, Y., Morozov, I. et al. The effect of 16S rRNA region choice on bacterial community metabarcoding results. Nature Sci Data. 2019. Available from: Accessed April 2021

3. Dufour DN, Emtestam L, Jemec GB. Hidradenitis suppurativa: a common and burdensome, yet under-recognised, inflammatory skin disease. Postgrad. Med. J. 2014;90:216-221.

4. Kurzen H et al What causes hidradenitis suppurativa? Exp Dermatol. 2008 May;17(5):455-6 Accessed April 2021

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