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Holistic Treatment for Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Holistic Treatment for Hidradenitis Suppurativa

By Dr. Patrick Lovegrove Medically Reviewed by Lindsay Langley, BSN, RN, CHT
Posted Wednesday, February 21st, 2024
Holistic Treatment for Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Are you facing a condition called Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS)? If so, you are not alone. This chronic skin condition can have a substantial impact on patients from both a physical and emotional perspective. We will delve into what this condition entails and how it affects patients. Additionally, we will break down common misconceptions surrounding traditional treatment methods, hopefully paving the way toward a more holistic approach for you.

Understanding Hidradenitis Suppurativa and its impact on patients

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic skin condition marked by inflammation and recurrent painful bumps under the skin, often in the sweat glands. While HS itself is not a life-threatening condition, it can significantly influence the quality of your life due to the discomfort and embarrassment it can cause.

Apart from physical symptoms, HS can cause emotional and psychological distress. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and even social isolation. All these consequences might be challenging to navigate, but shedding light on them is vital as a first step.

Common misconceptions about traditional treatment methods

Traditional treatment methods are the go-to option when HS symptoms arise. However, some misconceptions about them need debunking. For example, it’s a common belief that oral antibiotics exclusively benefit HS. While they can help reduce inflammation, their continuous usage might lead to antibiotic resistance.

Another misconception is that surgical options are the ultimate solution. Although it can temporarily relieve severe cases, HS often reoccurs in other areas post-surgery.

Understanding these misconceptions will help you explore other comprehensive and effective options, such as a holistic treatment approach. A holistic treatment approach focuses on your overall well-being, considering your physical and emotional health. It entails a blend of lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, stress management, topical remedies, and natural supplements formulated to reduce inflammation and improve the overall skin condition.

Embrace the journey of holistic healing. Remember, this journey is unique to everyone, and what works best for others might not work best for you. Therefore, a personalized approach that involves continual learning, self-experimentation, and commitment is vital. Be patient, be resilient, and most importantly, believe in the power of holistic healing towards managing HS effectively.

Lastly, remember that you’re not alone in this journey. Building a supportive community around you can make this path much more manageable. Reach out to others, share experiences, learn, and grow together. After all, your healing journey is not just about treating symptoms but improving the quality of life and fostering overall well-being. You’ve got this!

Holistic Treatment Approaches

One of the most effective approaches in managing Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is a holistic treatment plan focusing on overall well-being, including physical and emotional health. It is a comprehensive solution, not merely addressing the physical symptoms but also considering the emotional distress caused by HS. Two critical components of this treatment plan are diet and nutrition modification and the use of natural remedies or homeopathic treatments.

Diet and nutrition for managing Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Diet and nutrition play a central role in managing HS. Some studies have found that certain foods might trigger flares, while others could alleviate the symptoms. You may have noticed that certain foods aggravate your symptoms, or perhaps you’re unsure if there’s a connection. Here are a few tips to guide you:

  1. Keeping a Food Diary: Start by keeping a food journal to track your eating and any following symptoms. It can help identify potential triggers, which you can cut out or reduce from your diet.
  2. Anti-inflammatory Diet: Consuming a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help manage inflammation and minimize HS symptoms.
  3. Hydration: Staying well-hydrated is crucial for skin health and can help manage symptoms.

It’s essential to remember that everyone’s body responds differently, so it may take some trial and error to figure out what works best for you.

Natural Remedies and Homeopathic Treatments

Natural remedies and homeopathic treatments can also be instrumental in managing HS symptoms at home with minimal side effects. Here are some worth exploring:

  1. Topical Treatments: Certain natural topical treatments like tea tree oil, turmeric paste, and aloe vera have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help manage HS symptoms. Always test a small skin patch first to ensure you don’t have an adverse reaction.
  2. Stress Management: Stress can trigger HS, so incorporating stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness into your daily routine can be beneficial.
  3. Homeopathic Treatments: Some individuals have found relief with homeopathic treatments like Hepar sulphuris and Silicea, but it’s always advised to consult a homeopathic practitioner before starting a new treatment.

Remember, you’re not alone in tackling this condition, and a holistic treatment approach offers an encouraging, all-encompassing perspective on managing HS. It might be a journey of trial and error to find what works for you, but stay resilient and believe in the process. You got this!

Lifestyle Changes

Changing your lifestyle is a big part of managing Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS). These changes, which include stress management and regular physical activity, can lessen the frequency of flares and the severity of symptoms. Tailoring these changes to your needs and capabilities ensures they are most effective.

Stress Management and its role in managing Hidradenitis Suppurativa

You might not realize it, but stress has a significant impact on your overall well-being, and it can intensify your HS symptoms. When stressed, your body produces more hormones like cortisol, leading to inflammation and triggering HS flare-ups.

Given the importance of stress management, what can you do about it? You can incorporate deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, or mindfulness into your daily routine. These can help reduce your stress levels, promote relaxation, and ultimately help manage your HS symptoms better.

Moreover, it’s essential to remember that everyone has different stress management methods. So, try different techniques and stick to what works best for you.

Importance of Physical Activity and Exercise

Another lifestyle change that can make a significant difference in managing your HS symptoms is the incorporation of physical activity and exercise. Exercise can help your defense system, reduce inflammation, and improve your mood – all beneficial in managing HS.

However, you might wonder, “Won’t sweat from exercise cause more flare-ups?” Sweat itself doesn’t cause flares, but friction from clothing can pose an issue. To mitigate this, opt for activities that decrease friction in problem areas, like swimming. Also, consider wearing moisture-wicking, breathable athletic wear during your workouts.

Additionally, shower promptly after exercising to keep your skin clean and reduce any risk of bacterial buildup, which can contribute to flares.

Again, it’s crucial to remember that physical activity should be tailored to your abilities and comfort level. Start slowly, pay attention to your body, and slowly make your workouts harder and longer.

In conclusion, remember that you’re in control of your lifestyle choices, and these choices can significantly impact how you manage your HS symptoms. Even if you have HS, making healthy changes like learning to deal with stress and getting regular exercise can help you live a better, happier life.

Just remember, everyone’s journey with HS is unique. So, take the time to understand your body and what works best for you. Remain patient with yourself, take one step at a time, and you will soon see improvements. Remember, you are not alone in this journey; every step you take is an achievement. Keep going!

Alternative Therapies

As you journey toward managing Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS), it’s worth exploring alternative therapies that offer some relief. These holistic treatments can include practices like acupuncture and aromatherapy. While they may not fully eradicate HS, they can soothe symptoms, reduce stress, and help improve your overall quality of life.

Acupuncture and its Potential Benefits for Hidradenitis Suppurativa Patients

Acupuncture is an old Chinese treatment that includes putting thin needles into your body at specific points. This practice aims to rebalance energy flow and stimulate your body’s natural healing process. But what can it do for you as an HS sufferer?

First, acupuncture is known for its potential anti-inflammatory effect. Studies show it might help alleviate chronic inflammatory conditions. It could reduce the inflammation associated with HS flares and aid in relieving pain.

Second, acupuncture may also help manage stress – a notable factor in HS flare-ups. Regular sessions could assist in improving your body’s response to stress, leading to potentially fewer or less severe flares.

However, remember that acupuncture’s effectiveness varies from person to person. Before starting a new treatment, you should talk to a professional to see if it will help and fit your needs.

Aromatherapy and its Role in Symptom Relief

Aromatherapy is another alternative therapy you could consider. It involves using aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being. Usually inhaled or applied on the skin, these oils can relieve HS symptoms.

For instance, lavender and tea tree essential oils are recognized for their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory attributes. When diluted and applied topically to unbroken skin, they help manage skin inflammation and prevent infection.

While aromatherapy can be calming and may aid in symptom relief, it should not replace medical treatment for HS. It’s also necessary to use these oils safely – always dilute them before use and avoid applying them directly onto broken skin or wounds.

Additionally, explore stress-relief techniques such as deep-breathing exercises, yoga, or mindfulness, which may all work in synergy with the above-mentioned alternative therapies.

In conclusion, complementary therapies such as acupuncture and aromatherapy might contribute to your HS management plan by offering symptom relief and stress reduction. Always consult with healthcare professionals before incorporating new treatments into your routine. As always, remember that managing HS is a personal journey – what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you, and that’s perfectly okay. You’re doing your best; every step forward is a step toward improvement. Keep going!

Support and Community

Importance of Support Groups and Online Communities for Hidradenitis Suppurativa Patients

When dealing with Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS), it is essential to remember that you are not alone. A critical component in effectively coping with the difficulties associated with this condition is accessing support via support groups and online communities.

Support groups offer a secure environment for individuals who are undergoing comparable circumstances. These groups offer a platform for sharing stories, seeking advice, and offering encouragement. You can gain insight into coping strategies, treatment options, and lifestyle adjustments that have worked for others. Knowing that others understand the daily struggles can provide comfort and validation.

Online communities, including social media organizations and forums, have become valuable resources for HS patients. They allow individuals from all over the world to connect and share their experiences in a convenient and accessible manner. Digital communities offer a forum for individuals to seek clarification, exchange information regarding their treatment advancements, and locate solace in times of distress.

By participating in support groups and online communities, you can gain a support system that understands your unique challenges. It can increase confidence, improve mental well-being, and a stronger sense of empowerment in managing HS.

Seeking Professional Help: The Role of Counseling and Therapy

Dealing with a chronic condition like Hidradenitis Suppurativa can take a toll on one’s mental and emotional health. It is essential to recognize its impact on your overall well-being and seek professional help when needed.

In a secure and confidential setting, counseling and therapy can be utilized to discuss the emotional difficulties associated with living with HS. A proficient therapist can assist you in cultivating adaptive coping strategies, providing direction on effectively handling tension and anxiety, and aiding in the navigation of the emotional fluctuations that may coincide with the condition.

Therapy sessions can also address body image issues that often arise due to the visible nature of HS. Accepting and loving your body despite the physical challenges can contribute to a more positive self-image and improved mental well-being.

In addition to counseling, mental health professionals can also help you develop strategies for managing pain, address any depression or anxiety symptoms, and provide support in making lifestyle adjustments to manage HS more effectively.

Always remember that seeking professional assistance is a courageous step toward improving your overall well-being, not a sign of frailty. It is essential to have a robust support system in place that includes both peers and professionals who can guide you through your HS journey.

In conclusion, support groups and online communities offer a sense of belonging and understanding for Hidradenitis Suppurativa patients. They provide a platform to share experiences and gain valuable insights for managing the condition. Additionally, seeking professional help through counseling and therapy can provide the necessary emotional support and coping strategies to navigate the challenges of living with HS. Remember, you are not alone, and there are resources available to help you on your journey towards managing HS effectively.


After exploring the importance of support groups and online communities and seeking professional help for managing Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS), it is essential to consider holistic approaches to treatment. Holistic treatment addresses the condition from a comprehensive perspective, focusing on the mind, body, and spirit. This approach can complement medical interventions and help improve overall well-being.

Holistic approaches: A comprehensive approach to Hidradenitis Suppurativa treatment

  1. Dietary changes: A healthy, balanced diet can support your body’s natural healing process. Focus on consuming whole foods, minimizing processed foods, and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  2. Stress management: Chronic stress can exacerbate HS symptoms. Stress-reducing activities like meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness can help manage stress levels and promote overall well-being.
  3. Physical activity: Regular exercise can have numerous benefits for individuals with HS. It promotes blood circulation, boosts immune function, helps manage weight, and reduces stress. Choose activities you enjoy and consult your healthcare provider for specific recommendations.
  4. Natural remedies: Some individuals find relief from HS symptoms using natural remedies such as turmeric, aloe vera, tea tree oil, and calendula. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before trying new remedies to ensure they are safe.
  5. Alternative therapies: Some alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, and homeopathy, may be beneficial in managing HS symptoms. It is essential to consult with a qualified practitioner experienced in treating HS.

Disclaimer and final thoughts

It is important to remember that while holistic approaches can complement medical treatments, they should not replace medical advice or interventions. Always consult a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your treatment plan. Each person’s experience with HS is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Listening to your body, being patient with the healing process, and exploring various treatment options are crucial to finding what works best.

In conclusion, adopting a holistic approach to Hidradenitis Suppurativa treatment can be beneficial in managing symptoms and improving overall well-being. Individuals with HS can support their body’s healing process by addressing the condition comprehensively, including dietary changes, stress management, exercise, natural remedies, and alternative therapies. Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and to ensure the safety and effectiveness of any holistic approaches you consider.

About the author

Dr. Patrick Lovegrove