Managing Your Hidradenitis Suppurativa
One of the most debilitating skin conditions in existence right now is hidradenitis suppurativa. This condition is a chronic inflammation of the intertriginous skin of the axillary, inguinal, inframammary, genital, and perineal areas of the body.
The lumps that appear on the person’s skin are often painful and when they break out the pus that comes out send off a powerful odor that is often embarrassing for the person. The lumps also create tunnels underneath the skin linking other bumps with each other.
This condition is often jarring for people suffering from it leading most of them to depression and sometimes even avoiding interaction with other people. But hard as this condition may be for most people suffering from it more and more individuals have come forward and spoke about their conditions and more importantly how they manage their hidradenitis suppurativa.
People who have offered their thoughts on managing hidradenitis suppurativa have these things to say on how to deal with a debilitating condition:
- Keep your wounds clean by washing it regularly with antibacterial soap
- Avoid areas of your skin that broke out when you’re trying to shave, better yet, trim the hairs neatly instead of shaving it
- Wear loose clothing so that the fabric doesn’t continuously rub against the skin
- For women: avoid bras and wear bralettes that do not have under-wires instead; they’re much more comfortable to wear
- Apply castor oil on painful lumps after showering and before going to bed
- Change your diet and eat less sugar, gluten, dairy and nightshade
- Apply baking soda on lumps
- Apply tea tree oil on lumps
- To prevent leaking and constant rubbing of open wounds use surgical tape or non-stick pads; they will keep the pus from leaking and the wounds won’t get aggravated by the fabric of your clothes as you move around
- Consult your physician and ask him/her about turmeric pills; some people with HS attest to the effectiveness of these pills in curbing flare ups
- Apply coconut oil on the lumps
- Don’t wear underwear or at least wear underwear without any elastics so that they can provide more room for your private parts and not rub against it too much
- Use an antiseptic spray that has aloe and pain relievers in it on your body
- Reduce your coffee intake
People with HS also advised others that they need to implement some changes to their lifestyle if they want to manage their condition effectively.
- Quit smoking: nicotine and all the other chemicals in a cigarette can aggravate HS but to begin with there really is no benefit to smoking so might as well quit it and live a healthier life
- Exercise more: although hidradenitis suppurativa often gets triggered by excess sweat it’s still helpful to be more fit; try exercises where you don’t have to sweat too much like yoga, pilates or swimming
- Lose weight: a good reason to exercise more is because hidradenitis suppurativa is triggered less when the person isn’t overweight. HS tends to activate when skin rubs against each other and if you’re obese there are more folds to your skin that will rub against each other.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables: avoiding processed foods will increase your chances of curbing an attack.
- Avoid stress: hidradenitis suppurativa sometimes gets triggered by stress so it is important to provide yourself with a stress-free life/environment. Of course it’s easier said than done, but there are ways to make your life less stressful. Try practicing yoga every day and try to turn your home into a more relaxing atmosphere.
- Try following a Paleo diet: some people attest to the effectiveness of this diet and they say that it helped lessen the outbreaks
Managing inflamed areas
When a lump starts to appear some people who have just started to experience hidradenitis suppurativa do not know what to do. Fortunately, people who have been living with HS for years shared their thoughts and suggestions and these are useful tips to manage an inflammation.
- Apply warm (not hot) compress on the lumps to minimize the swelling; a warm washcloth will do as well
- Apply baby lotions or wash the lumps with baby soaps because these are very gentle to the skin
- If the lumps are painful apply a cold compress
- Use hypoallergenic soaps on the lumps
- Before going to bed use tea tree oil and apply them on the lumps to minimize swelling
- Run a bath with bleach (use only a cap full of bleach) to minimize the swelling
- Use an antiseptic body wash every day
- Use mentholated topical cream on the lumps as long as they haven’t broken out yet; using this cream on open wounds can be painful
- Bring along baby wipes with you at all times and use these to clean the lumps
Hidradenitis suppurativa is probably one of the most difficult skin diseases to manage but with the help of these tips managing your condition won’t seem such an impossible task anymore.