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Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting apocrine gland-bearing areas of the skin. There is currently no satisfactory treatment.To assess the efficacy of a 10-week course of combination clindamycin 300 mg twice daily and rifampicin 300 mg twice daily in the treatment of HS.Patients who had received combination therapy with clindamycin and rifampicin for HS at one U.K. Dermatology Centre between the years 1998 and 2003 were identified from pharmacy records. Their records were analysed retrospectively.Fourteen patients with HS had received treatment with combination therapy. Eight of these patients achieved remission and a further two achieved remission when minocycline was substituted for clindamycin. Four patients were unable to tolerate therapy.This small retrospective study indicates that combination therapy with clindamycin and rifampicin may be effective for HS. However, there is a need for a placebo-controlled trial.