1. Prepare for the unexpected.
You’ve likely suffered from an untimely outbreak before, and you’re probably familiar with the process for de-escalating such an emergency situation. It’s important to remember everything you’ve learned in this sphere when dating with HS. Keep a small kit of basic medical supplies on-hand at all times. Tuck several different kits throughout your home, car and/or travel bags to be extra safe. That way, you can protect yourself from possible humiliation if and when the worst occurs. Life with HS is tricky to navigate, so it’s important to set yourself up with a backup plan whenever possible. This will give you a bit more flexibility and allow you to feel more at ease even when you’re experience a flare-up.
2. Remember that confidence is key.
Maintaining self-confidence is by far one of the most challenging aspects of living with HS. The physical symptoms that accompany this skin condition can be a blow to one’s self-esteem. Many have been known to suffer from depression and social anxiety related to their HS. So try to remember that you are unique, and that this medical condition is not something you should be blamed for. Anyone who doesn’t have the cognitive capacity to grasp these basic concepts isn’t worth keeping around anyway.
3. Take control of any variables you can.
Since HS can negatively impact your body image, you should consider taking steps to boost your self-confidence. Two simple ways to do this are eating healthy and exercising! If you’re dealing with an active HS outbreak, you may need to avoid the gym for a while. But there are many mental and physical benefits of working out and eating well that will serve you well long-term. You may have a gnarly skin wound two weeks out of the year, but you’ll have washboard abs too!
4. Choose your partners wisely.
Look, there’s no other way around it. If you get together with a slimeball, they’re going to be a slimeball regardless of whether or not you have a skin condition. So make smart choices. I’m not saying lower your bar to the floor—in fact, I’m saying the opposite. Raise that bar. Choose someone who is not only going to be eye candy, but will also tough it out with you and remain understanding during times of great difficulty. Be the kind of person you want to attract as a significant other. You’ll likely find that when you set your standards high enough, you end up in healthier relationships that are more fulfilling overall.