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Hidradenitis Suppurativa – Dealing With The Symptoms

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Although there is a cure for HS, it doesn’t happen automatically.  Like all conditions that get cured,  curing hidradenitis suppurativa takes time and while the body is fighting away the disease, symptoms can remain before they subside.

These symptoms can be painful and very uncomfortable for anyone who suffers with hidradenitis suppurativa.  So what can you do to help relieve some of the pain, and while learning about how to treat this awful condition, minimize the outbreaks as well as not making the boil like cysts that you have more inflamed and worse?

Thankfully, there are some answers to that. If you smoke, you are very much encouraged to quit. Quitting smoking is hard, but there is a known link between HS and tobacco use. If you can quit, you should see some relief of some of your symptoms within a short period of time. Of course, quitting smoking will also have other benefits that in the long run you will enjoy and be thankful for once you’ve given up cigarettes.

Irritation of the skin can also make HS cysts and abscesses worse.  There are a few things you can do to reduce or eliminate this:

Don’t Shave The Hidradenitis Suppurativa Area

Shaving can be an extreme skin irritation and this can affect HS. Naturally, if you are a male, it might be tough to refrain from shaving your face, however HS breakouts are rare in the facial area. However, there can be other similar symptoms and the heat and irritation of shaving can cause breakouts. The most uncomfortable and common places for HS to break out in a painful manner is under the arms, in the groin and thighs. While in North America, it is considered normal for ladies to shave their armpits, it really ought to be avoided if possible if you suffer with HS. As well, the other areas that you are prone to having outbreaks should also be avoided when shaving.

Avoid Heat and Humidity

Prolonged exposure to heat, and especially heat that is combined with humidity is believed to worsen the symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa. While it is difficult to completely avoid heat and humidity if it is part of the climatic conditions where you live, try to plan your time indoors with air conditioning when the weather turns hot and sticky.

Avoid Tight Clothing

Clothing that is too tight is another skin irritant. Not only can this cause an outbreak of HS, it can also make any present outbreaks much more uncomfortable. When clothing is rubbing against the skin, many things happen that include acting upon the hair follicles and causing inflammation as well as the follicles to plug up. If you are a person that is prone to hidradenitis suppurativa, avoid tight clothing at all costs. This includes shirts or blouses that might pull against areas of your body that breakouts occur, and jeans or pants that might irritate the groin and upper thighs.

When choosing clothing, stay away from synthetics. Wear clothing made of cotton, hemp, linen or wool instead. Synthetics often do not have good absorption and wicking properties and this is not a goo thing for sufferers of HS.

As well, straps such as those that come with bicycle helmets can also induce flare ups under the chin and near the neck. Please try to avoid these kinds of irritants as much as possible.

Life Style Changes

You may need to make some major lifestyle changes in order to cure your HS. But you do want to cure it, don’t you? Lifestyle changes that are known to put this condition into remission include diet and other activities. If you need help with this, you may want to consider seeking the help of a professional counselor.  If you are overweight, consider a plan to change your diet and perhaps exercise more often to lose the extra pounds. Those extra pounds can have an irritating effect and can cause or make worse, your cysts and boils.

Read our article here about Hidradenitis Suppurativa Treatment & Cure.


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  1. Otilia on March 13, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Great post and very informative. I read in a study that it takes 7 years on average for a patient to receive the correct diagnosis and hidradenitis suppurativa treatment so all your efforts for raising awareness on the subject are appreciated!

  2. Clay Candee on July 4, 2013 at 4:08 am

    The accurate diagnosis of any skin lesions can be made by histologic examination of a skin biopsy. However, clinicians must gain the clinical acumen to correctly identify common benign skin lesions and to distinguish those skin conditions that do need a biopsy and possible further treatment. -;..,

    Au revoir

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