Hidradenitis Suppurativa is a skin disorder affecting 1 to 4% of the world’s population. It is three times more common in females, and generally occurs between the ages of 20 to 30 (and never occurs before puberty). Affected areas are those where there is skin to skin contact and where sweat glands are present, namely the armpits, breasts, groin, and anal region. It is extremely painful and may limit the patient’s movement. Fortunately, there are a lot of dietary, lifestyle and natural choices that you can make to improve and even treat the condition.
As Hidradenitis suppurativa is characterized by severe inflammation, it is imperative that you keep the body in an anti-inflammatory state. This is achieved through the adoption of an anti-inflammatory diet, i.e. one high in anti-inflammatory foods and low in pro-inflammatory ones. For example, foods high in omega 3 fatty acids (such as oily fish like salmon and fresh tuna) stimulate the body to produce molecules (called eicosanoids) that combat inflammation. These work in a similar way to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) but without the side effects. On the other hand, foods high in saturated fats and trans fatty acids cause systemic inflammation and a weakening of the immune system. Therefore, make sure you choose lean meats, grill instead of fry, avoid processed meats, limit chocolate and pastries, and opt for low-fat dairy products.
You should also supplement with a number of key vitamins, minerals and natural extracts. For example, vitamin C is well-known for its wound-healing properties because it stimulates the production of collagen. Hidradenitis suppurativa tends to leave open wounds, and vitamin C can be extremely beneficial in this regard. Similarly, there are a number of natural extracts that have potent antiseptic, analgesic and wound healing properties, and these have been shown to be able to send the condition into remission in the vast majority of patients who try them. What’s so great about these is that they are not associated with any side effects, unlike synthetic medical and surgical options.
Lifestyle modification is imperative if you want to get rid of Hidradenitis suppurativa. It is well known that smoking can be a causative factor and will exacerbate pre-existing conditions – therefore, quit smoking! Avoid wearing tight or synthetic clothing, and avoid or limit shaving the area as this will irritate the skin. Heat and humidity will make the symptoms worse, as will excessive sweating. Stress is both a causative and aggravating factor – find ways to deal with it. Talk to a counselor for help, and try to find the time to do pleasurable, relaxing activities. It is also very important to get enough quality sleep; try to aim for 8 hours each night. Being overweight will make the condition worse and much harder to treat, as you will suffer from more frictional forces in the area. Try to lose the excess weight by adopting a healthy, balanced diet.
Here are some top tips for the management and treatment of Hidradenitis Suppurativa:
1. Quit Smoking! More than 80% of Hidradenitis Suppurativa patients are smokers and this habit is known to be both a causative and aggravating factor. Smoking cessation always brings about improvements in this condition.
2. Lose excess body weight. If you are overweight, you will have more frictional forces in areas where there is skin-to-skin contact, and this will aggravate Hidradenitis Suppurativa and make it harder to treat.
3. Avoid excessive shaving of the area. Shaving further irritates the affected area and can worse the condition.
4. Apply ice packs to the area. The cold will act as an analgesic and will reduce the inflammation, which can improve the condition and provide symptomatic relief.
5. Eat more fish, and less meat. Fish, especially oily ones like salmon and mackerel, are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which help the body combat inflammation. On the other hand, red meat contains saturated fat, which causes inflammation. Be keeping your diet high in anti-inflammatory foods, your condition will improve.
6. Wear loose-fitting clothing. Tight clothing is both a causative and aggravating factor, as it increases frictional forces in the area and keeps the area humid. Opt for loose-fitting clothing instead and try to keep yourself cool.
7. Find a way to deal with stress. Again, stress is both a causative and aggravating factor, and is one of the main triggers of flare-ups. Make it a point to find the time to do pleasurable relaxing activities and possibly talk with a counselor to help you find ways to deal with stress and anxiety.
8. Get lots of vitamin C! This vitamin not only boosts the immune system but also speeds up wound healing because it stimulates the formation of collagen. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries, bell peppers and dark green vegetables. Alternatively, take a daily supplement.
9. Use tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is an essential oil with strong antiseptic and skin-enhancing properties. Put some drops of tea tree oil on a ball of cotton and apply to the affected area for a few minutes each day.
10. Seek emotional support. Hidradenitis Suppurativa can be very hard psychologically, and some persons end up alienating themselves. Talk to your trusted family members or friends about it, and get in touch with a local support group such as HS-USA and HS Friends UK. Talking with a counselor can also help you to deal with the emotional burden of the diseases.
For a step by step guide on how to cure Hidradenitis suppurativa using a natural holistic approach, visit Therese Wilson’s Fast Hidradenitis Suppurativa Cure™ CLICK HERE. Wilson is a certified nutritionist and holistic health consultant based in London, UK.