Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) : Causes , Stages & Home Remedies

Hidradenitis suppurative

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) : Causes , Stages of disease and home remedies for natural treatment. Also read stages of this disease

It is a skin condition that takes the form of a small, pimple like bump, deeper acne like nodules or even boils. They are usually very painful and appear in the area where skin rubs together. Over time these bumps may break open, resulting in an unpleasant smell.

There is no known cure for it, and most patients learn to live with the condition. 

It is not caused by bad hygiene or overweight. However, the two might make the condition more painful.

Hidradenitis suppurative
Hidradenitis suppurative

HS is more common than people think. It is a painful, debilitating condition that occurs in the inverse area of skin, like the groin, below the breasts and armpits. HS affects up to 4% of the world population. 

Hidradenitis suppurativa is often misdiagnosed as acne, ingrown hair, or a boil unless your dermatologist has prior experience dealing with it. 

The associated pain is described as sharp, searing like being stuck with a fireplace hot poker from inside. It can do simple chores like walking and sitting as impossible to do. Leaving your house can become a real pain in a literary sense.

The treatment for the sickness is in progress, and if you are diagnosed early, you will be able to enjoy a good quality of life. 

Its mental effects can be as debilitating. People suffering from it can have a loss of self esteem, anxiety, and depression. They might also have problems with their life partner over the issue. Although a wise partner would be willing to take it in his/her stride.

It is not an STD, although it can occur on your inner thigh near your genital area. It is not a contagious disease either.

Symptoms of Hidradenitis suppurativa

It typically occurs as skin breakouts on the parts of the body where skin rubs against each other.

  • Armpits
  • Groins
  • Below the breasts
  • Anus
  • Between the buttocks
  • Inner thighs

Signs of HS breakout include:

  1. Pain
  2. Boils
  3. Red pimple like bumps
  4. Deep Nodules or Cysts
  5. Draining Nodules.
This medical condition may worsen if you are
  • Overweight
  • Smoke
  • Are under stress
  • Hormonal Change


A sweat less practice is known to help obese people with HS. As the fold of fat reduces on the thigh and armpits, their friction gets reduced, alleviating the symptoms of the HS.

However, sweat is the known enemy of HS, and it would flare up, even though you might take the precaution of a quick cold shower.

There are exercise e routines that help you burn calories, reduce weight without sweating attached.

Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga
Yin Yoga

As opposed to its more masculine power yoga, Asanas are held for more extended periods, starting with 45 seconds and extending up to five minutes. The idea is to improve the circulation in the joints and improve flexibility. It also helps regulate the flow of energy.


tai chi
tai chi

Yes, the Chinese meditation come martial art. It involves the nonstop flow of movements. It never makes you sweat. Additionally, it helps reduce stress and keep the body moving.


This exercise focuses on creating lean muscles. There is a little cardio workout, but you get strong back, arms, and core over time. Sweating is minimal, and in fact, Pilates works better when you do it slowly.

Water Exercises

Swimming is an excellent no sweat exercise. There are other fancy group water exercises like water Zumba, aqua jogging, and water aerobics. There are plenty of water exercises that you can do at your home or in the pool. Even treading in water for five minutes will have beneficial effects.

Slow Motion weight lifting

It builds your muscles while burning fat. Do the same amount of weight lifting but at a gentler pace. Do it as slowly as possible, 

You would have a stronger body with lesser fat accumulation.

No sweat Walking

Try walking in an air-conditioned space like a mall or an indoor track. Strolling can get your heart pumping, and you burn calories.


Try loosed fitting clothing which allows your skin to breathe. Wear cotton or sweat absorbing material.

Home remedies for Hidradenitis suppurativa

Their effectiveness may vary depending upon the severity of the problem; it may also vary from person to person. 

Heat Pad

Application of heat would reduce inflammation and the associated pain. Apply a dry source of heat instead of a warm towel. Keep the area preferably dry.


It is a very old remedy for infections and injuries. It has excellent anti-bacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal properties.

Mix one tsp of honey with a ½ tsp. of carrier oil like coconut oil. Apply the same on the infected part. Let it be there for at least 10 minutes. Rinse it off with warm water. It will reduce inflation and prevent infection from spreading.


Just like turmeric, honey is also known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Its anti-bacterial properties prevent the infection from spreading.

Mix it with a little bit of turmeric powder and apply it on the infected part. Leave the paste for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash it off after thence.

Aloe Vera

It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also an excellent overall skin ointment. Apply the Gel for around 15 minutes on the infected part. Let the skin soak it. 


It is a strong disinfectant. Rubbing it on the skin would clear it off its dirt and infection. It would also soothe pain or irritation during a flare-up. Drench a cotton pad in alcohol and apply it to the infected part.


It helps reduce inflammation and swelling in the body. You can also make a cream with one tsp. of bee wax, one tsp. of Zinc Oxide powder, and ½ cup of coconut oil. Apply the paste regularly to the infected part.

Neem Oil

It has long been used to control skin infection. Neem oil has anti-bacterial qualities. It has high fatty acid content, which helps cleanse scars.

Apply neem oil mixed with aloe vera, turmeric, or honey on the infected part. Let the skin soak it.

Apple Cider Vinegar

It may not directly help but keep the area free of bacteria, apply it using a cotton pad on the infected part.

Bleach Bath

May or May not help, but there is no harm in trying. Soak in the ratio of 1/3 tsp. For household bleach to 4 cups of warm water. Soak your body in for around 10 minutes while keeping the head out.

Wash with normal water afterward.

Some Other Remedies

Proper intake of food is an essential part of any medical regime. There are certain foods that aggravate the problem, while others would reduce the discomfort.

Certain foods that are recommended for HS patients are.

They should have anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Cinnamon
  • Walnuts
  • Ginger
  • Green Tea
  • Salmon and other oily fish.
  • Dark chocolates

These foods would reduce flare-up of HS and help in the control of the current symptoms.

There should be a well-balanced diet as part of any health regimen. It should include

  1. Fresh Vegetables.
  2. Plenty of fruits
  3. Less unhealthy oil and fat.
  4. Less amount of processed food.
  5. Little or no sugary drinks
  6. And a limited amount of alcohol

Stages of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

There are three stages of HS, and each one has different therapies. Ideally, disease should be treated before the third stage.

  • Hurley stage 1: In some cases, early symptoms such as itching or discomfort may precede the conditions characteristic manifestation.
  • Hurley stage 2: This is characterized by recurrent abscess formation, Followed by tract formation and scar remission. There may be single or multiple lesions.
  • Hurley Stage 3: Diffuse or near diffuse involvement or multiple interconnected tracts and abscesses are observed across the entire area.

Prevention tips for Hidradenitis suppurativa

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to prevent the flare-ups.

Wear loose clothing: Loose cotton clothing is breathable, does not hold moisture, and won’t rub against the skin, aggravating the problem. It will keep your skin clean, dry, and bacteria-free.

Keep the affected area dry. It will prevent further flare-ups. The moist area allows fungus and bacteria to grow.

Taking daily showers wash away the dirt and bacteria. Using a good soap or body wash won’t clog pores. 

Armpit hair removal: Remove hair to prevent flare-ups , however, be cautious not to shave if in case of an existing flare-up as it can irritate the area further.

Stop smoking: It is a bad habit in any case but is linked to HS, so says bye-bye to that white stick.

Conclusion: There is no known cure for HS, although medications are available to control the disease. Surgery is also an option in case of chronic cases. The condition can be kept in check by a proper lifestyle. One of the reasons why patients wait for such a long time is because of the embarrassment associated with the problem. In case you think you have the symptoms of HS, help yourself by taking proactive measures in controlling the disease.

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