DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A MEDICAL DOCTOR! I AM JUST SHARING MY METHODS WITH OTHERS THAT MIGHT BENEFIT. FOLLOW AT YOUR OWN RISK.
It’s 3AM and I felt the need to bring this up. I have been living with HS since I was 9 years old but I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 17. My case is severe. It has caused me to miss a lot of things in my life and have influenced a lot of life decisions. If you have Hidradentits Suppurativa then you’ll know the horrors of wearing white clothing out of fear one of your “flare ups” has decided to make themselves known. If your case is as severe as mine then you’ll know that you’d rather give birth than to feel the excruciating, mind numbing pain of an abscess building up with pus. I could go through a bottle of thirty 800MG Ibuprofen just off one flare up alone. I am approaching 21 years of age, and over the years I have found techniques and remedies that work best for me. Hopefully some of the things I mention below can help a fellow HS relative.
First of all, educate yourself.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa (or Acne Inversa) is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease that occurs in 1% to 4% of the population. It affects areas of the skin that rub together the most such as the underarm, under the breast, under the stomach/folds of your stomach and your buttocks. HS has to be diagnosed by a dermatologist first before specific treatment. There are a lot of HS forums and websites out there that provide information on the disease but my favorite is No BS About HS. It is a really informative site with a nice feel. If you put in some contact information, they’ll send you cool items in the mail every other month!
Using Soaps & Deodorant
For me, I have to be very cautious with which soaps and deodorants to use. The wrong ingredients can cause a world of unwanted hurt. I don’t know about y’all but I love me a nice, skin drying soap that makes my whole body feel like a Popeye’s biscuit. I hate soaps that make my skin feel slick and moisturized because that’s is basically pissing my microbiome off and making it turn against me. The ONLY soap that works for me is Dial; specifically the Gold bar.
Deodorant is a different ballgame. You are highly favored if you’ve never experience deodorant getting into a hair follicle and having to squeeze it out by hand. Who would’ve thought wearing the wrong deodorant can turn your day to good to bad? It got so bad that I stopped wearing deodorant for a whole year. Though, embarrassing I’m not afraid to admit my troubles of dealing with my condition. Wearing regular powder deodorant is a disaster for me so I had to exercise my alternatives. I tried using a baking soda solution (1/2 Teaspoon of baking soda, 1/4 cup of aloe Vera gel, 1/2 cup of witch hazel) and it worked, but I never used it for more than a day. As of today I feel that using aresol deodorant is best for me. I am trying to find a more environment and body friendly antiperspirant, so I might try the baking soda solution for you guys and let you know how it goes!
Moisturizing my skin without irritating it is a skill I had to learn and I am still learning. I don’t use lotion because it doesn’t do the skin justice and it doesn’t penetrate the skin– only sits on top. I prefer oils such as olive oil and coconut oil when I want to moisturize. The only hard part is keeping the oil from penetrating too deep in where your skin is most vulnerable. Oil, sweat and body dirt makes for a concoction of flare up. I found a way to decrease this from happening a few years ago. After I apply the oil, I just wipe myself down gently with a towel. That way it’s lifting excess oil and leasing my chances of flaring up. I am going to dry and see if dry oils will be a better option for me.
Vinegar Is Your Friend
I cannot express this enough VINEGAR IS YOUR FRIEND! When I have minor boils I wipe them down with distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. I am not even about to pretend like I use the high end vinegars like Bragg. I use regular distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Vinegar also cleanses your microbiome and balances the pH. Vinegar baths are essential to me. Once a week I run a warm bath and add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar and soak for about 20 minutes. After the soak, I shower as normal feeling reborn! Vinegar is the gold standard to me for health care. Witch hazel is number 2.
I have had HS for 12 years now and I am still learning about the disease. I may not be educated in all areas yet but I am open to learning and listening. Hidradentits Suppurativa needs to be brought to attention so more funding can be given for research. Awareness has to be raised somewhere and it starts with the affected. Do your research, know your facts, educate others and raise awareness. If any of you would like to share you HS story and your techniques to deal with it, leave a comment below. If there are any links I can follow regarding HS please leave them!