Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic condition of the skin that can be extremely distressing. The chronic nature of this disease means that once it has developed, it will be present for the rest of the patient’s life, and requires constant management in order to prevent the symptoms of pain and discomfort.
While it is possible to see your doctor and be prescribed medications (usually antibiotics and corticosteroids, to prevent infection and inflammation), many patients prefer to use hidradenitis suppurativa natural treatments instead. There are a number of complementary therapies that are extremely effective at reducing the symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa, and you may wish to try these before you book an appointment with your doctor.
1. Aloe vera. This is an extract from the aloe vera plant, which has anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for thousands of years to promote healing and prevent the infection of wounds. As the most severe symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa occur when the abscesses and cysts become infected, it is important to reduce the number of bacteria that are present on the skin. While these microorganisms are not normally harmful in any way, they may be opportunistic, and will grow rapidly in the right conditions. This is why the areas that are most severely affected are those that are warm and slightly moist – usually the groin and armpit regions. There are also large numbers of hair follicles in these areas that can easily become infected.
2. Tea tree oil. This is another essential oil that should be applied directly to the skin as hidradenitis suppurativa natural treatment. Tea tree oil can have some unpleasant side effects if taken orally – it is only intended for use as a topical treatment. The oil in its pure, undiluted form may be too strong for your skin initially, so if you have not used it before, you should make up a dilution using water. Then, apply this dilution to all of the affected areas, using clean cotton wool to gently dab on the solution. This should be repeated on all of the cysts, abscesses and sinus tracts (these are channels under the skin that can open up and leak large amounts of pus) at least twice a day. Tea tree oil is antimicrobial, so it will reduce the number of bacteria that are acting on the pus and producing the smell that you will already have noticed as one of your symptoms. This means that it will no longer be as obvious that you have developed hidradenitis suppurativa – the smell is one of the most noticeable and embarrassing symptoms. It will also help to reduce the swelling and the extent of these abscesses, minimising the pain that you are feeling.
3. Vitamin C. This vitamin, found in high quantities in citrus fruits and also available as a supplement, helps to promote wound healing by encouraging the growth of new skin tissue and collagen. This can help to heal the sinus tracts and abscesses that are characteristic of this sweat gland disease. You should eat a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables, trying to include as many different varieties as you can.
Your diet can have a significant impact on the severity of the hidradenitis suppurativa symptoms that you experience. This is why many patients with the condition are now turning to the Paleo diet, which has been shown to control and minimise the pain and discomfort that are caused by the symptoms. The Paleo diet is based on what would have been eaten by prehistoric populations, and is sometimes described as the hunter-gatherer diet. There is an emphasis on fresh foods, and grains such as wheat are eliminated. Read more…