Page Menu

Targeting Nociceptors to Reduce Type-17 Inflammation in HS

Now enrolling: A $300 stipend is offered for full participation

Study PI: Sarah Whitley, MD, PhD
Sponsors: NIAMS/NIH, Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation, AbbVie (providing BotoxTM)

This project tests the hypothesis that cutaneous pain-sensing nerves (nociceptors) govern immune cell residency and function within skin. It is our expectation that this study will implicate nociceptors in the pathogenesis of HS and serve as proof-of-concept for randomized-controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of botoxTM and other nerve blocking agents in reduction of inflammation, relief of pain, and improvement in quality of life for HS patients.


Participants will undergo botulinum toxin injections into one or more HS-affected body sites at 3 month intervals over a 7 month study period. Skin biopsy, blood draw, skin swab, will be obtained before and after the first botox treatment. Physical examination including vital signs and questionnaire completion will be performed at each study visit.

Time Commitment

Four study visits over a seven month period


Inclusion criteria

  • Adults between ages 18 and 75 with active HS

Exclusion criteria

  • Age < 18 years or > 75 years
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Started a new biologic based therapy (e.g. anti-TNF, anti-IL-17A/F/R, anti-IL-12/23, or anti-IL-1) or oral JAK or TYK inhibitor within preceding 12 weeks
  • Laser surgery
  • Laser hair removal
  • Elective surgery to the treatment areas within 4 weeks prior to baseline visit