Being a recurrent skin condition, Hidradenitis Suppurativa is something people have to learn to live with right now. Treatments help with the symptoms, flare-ups and lesions that come with this condition, but do not completely cure it,…yet! So people living with HS learn to manage their disorder using a combination of drugs from their doctor, surgical attention, lifestyle changes and a hidradenitis suppurativa diet. As well as controlling symptoms, these methods are also about preventing further complications with infections. At this time, there is no one option that is completely 100% successful and reliable for all those with HS. Each person with Hidradenitis Suppurativa needs an approach from their team of experts that best suits them.
Medications From Your Doctor:
There are several medications a doctor might prescribe a person with HS. It depends on the strength of the flare-up and what stage of HS they are at. You are also likely to get more than one medication. They can include;
- Medication for pain relief – Living with HS means learning to manage pain. While some can manage on over the counter options, some people need something stronger from their doctor.
- Antibiotic creams – When a person is in stage one, they have milder symptoms. Topical creams like gentamicin and clindamycin can be used to reduce flares with success.
- Oral or systemic medications – These include oral antibiotics as well as other treatments like anti-inflammatory medications and immunosuppressant drugs.
There are a number of treatments a surgeon can perform on a person with HS to help deal with some of the symptoms. Usually, these options are for people in stage two and stage 3 as they deal with the more serious or severe symptoms. They include;
- A procedure called unroofing: This is where the surgeon removes tissue to expose the tunnels that have formed beneath your skin.
- Limited unroofing or debridement: Where a single nodule that has become swollen and infected is removed.
- Surgical removal of an affected area: The affected skin is removed and sometimes a skin graft is needed to close it up. While that area may not have sores still occur, you can still get them in other areas.
- Incision and Draining: Currently, it is now believed that this process is no longer an effective option by some surgeons as while it gives those with HS some relief in the short term there is no long term gain from it. The sores do return in the next flare-up.
- Lasers – Laser therapy in the form of a carbon dioxide laser can help get rid of lesions.
There is a real psychological impact to having this disorder. People living with HS can struggle socially, have depression, anxiety, and very low self-esteem and feel isolated. It is important then that treatment is not just for the physical symptoms but also that you seek support for your mental health too. Seek counselling, talk to other people with HS, let your friends and family help you.
Management with a change in lifestyle
For people with mild or stage one HS, a hidradenitis suppurativa diet can help manage the severity of your flare-ups for a couple of reasons. It will include more anti-inflammatory foods and it can help with how impactful your weight is on your skin condition symptoms. It is also important to try to;
- Wash gently and use a gentle soap.
- Use compresses to manage pain and swelling.
- Avoid clothing that generates friction on your affected skin.
- Avoid perfumed laundry detergents.
- Be as active as you can manage.
- Quit smoking.
While there is currently no cure for hidradenitis suppurativa you never know when a new development might happen. Until they get this figured out, having HS does not have to become all that you are. Get yourself a great team of people in the medical staff, fellow HS warriors and family and friends to help manage the condition and live your life as best you can. A hidradenitis suppurativa diet could be a part of making things a little better if you are ready. A little change each day is all it takes, you can do this!
Hold your chin up and brave it as you would when survival and happiness is so very important in today’s world.