Hidradenitis Suppurativa [HS] is a skin condition caused by a mutated gene, and it can make life miserable for those of us who have it. There are, however, steps you can take to avoid frequent HS related outbreaks. Over the course of the last 20 years, I have learned from experience how to avoid an HS flare-up as best I can. I would like to share everything I’ve learned in hopes of helping anyone else suffering from this skin disease.
When it comes to managing HS, a hot, sweaty environment is one of your biggest enemies.
Especially paired with tight clothing, heat and perspiration allow bacteria to creep into your skin. This can lead to the inflammation of hair follicles and sebaceous glands, which can in turn cause flare-ups. For this reason, loose cotton clothing has become my best friend. For females suffering from HS in the groin area, boy shorts are the ideal undergarment. For guys, boxers or boxer briefs are likely the way to go. If possible, wearing no underwear at all is also a solid choice. In general, looser clothing won’t irritate your sensitive areas. During a breakout, it will also help mitigate the pain caused by rubbing.
From my experience, one surefire way to exacerbate HS is to shave. Shaving introduces bacteria into your skin and leaves your follicles practically begging to be infected. Since it’s fashionable to be bare “down there,” waxing is a good alternative. But trimming rather than removing hair is an even safer bet.
Did you know that your overall health also factors into the Hidradenitis Suppurativa breakout equation?
During stressful times, we often don’t take care of our bodies. I have noticed that my HS always flares up during times of high stress, when I am not eating or sleeping as well as usual. Though sometimes it is not possible to get the sleep I need, one thing I can control is what I put into my body. Since I began minding my health more carefully, I have seen a significant improvement.
It’s possible to experience repeat flare-ups in the same areas on your body. That’s because Hidradenitis Suppurativa tends to make tracts beneath the skin and can spread to nearby follicles and sebaceous glands. I’ve found that visiting a surgeon every year or so is the best way to concur my problem spots.
After many years of dealing with Hidradenitis Suppurativa, I have discovered many tactics for keeping outbreaks at bay.
The lessons I’ve learned have come from firsthand trial and error. Keep in mind that everyone is different, and you must do whatever is best for you.
Don’t forget that this skin condition is not your fault. It is genetic, and it does not mean that you are unclean. Also remember that there are always things you can do to improve how you play the hand you’ve been dealt.