Getting the diagnosis of hidradenitis suppurativa is hard. Being faced with a skin condition that can be at best unsightly, and that varies from uncomfortable to painful is bad enough. To hear then that there is no cure either is the worst. No-one will understand that, what you have to deal with and live with, and how it affects you emotionally as well as physically. While that cure is not yet here, there are options when it comes to management, and it can help to get an early diagnosis. You can implement things sooner to help like a Hidradenitis suppurativa diet. Here is a look at the symptoms of HS, current treatments that help with those symptoms, and what else you can do.
Sometimes when you catch it early there may be a misdiagnosis. If you suspect you have HS ask for a specialist to take a look if you keep getting told it is boils. Early diagnosis can help because you can take steps so that you can slow the spreading, and help prevent scarring. The three things that doctors look for are;
- Lumps forming beneath the skin
- These lumps forming are in areas where there is friction as with between buttocks, in the groin, in armpits or under breasts
- The lumps reoccur
A combination of methods will treat your symptoms., The exact approach varies depending on your stage of HS, how well your wounds heal, your lifestyle and so on. In general, there are steps to prevent the formation of new lesions. Steps for stopping the formation of tunnels, removing lumps and controlling scarring, and then the management of physical pain. For those with minor to moderate issues that include oral and topical medications and minor surgery to drain nodules. For more severe and difficult symptoms in people with HS, more extensive surgery can be used. There are also developing treatments that include things like biologic medications
What can you control?
There are certain lifestyles that in some mean symptoms are less serious and easier to live with. People with HS are encouraged to adopt a lifestyle like this by their doctors to go alongside medical treatments. This includes;
- If you smoke you can make things better by finding a way to quit. Smoking is not good for your skin, and it has been found that smoking makes the flares and the symptoms worse.
- Consider what you are eating. There is no one cure all Hidradenitis suppurativa diet for everyone. This is about eating a balanced diet that reduces things like sugars, dairy and processed foods. Most of us are aware that these things when eaten too much are not good for any of us. But in someone living with HS, it makes things worse. While the studies are limited so far, there is proof that what you eat has a real impact on your symptoms. A Hidradenitis suppurativa diet also has the added advantage of leading to weight loss.
- Using gentle cleansers, on yourself and your clothing can also help
- Take some supplements that are good for skin or eat foods that have the right vitamins for healthy skin.