If you have been diagnosed with a skin condition such as acne inversa (also known as hidradenitis suppurativa), then you should already be aware that it is a chronic disorder. Chronic disorders are those that, once developed, will be present for the rest of the patient’s life, and will require careful management if flare ups and an increase in severity are to be avoided.
One of the best ways in which you can start to control your symptoms of acne inversa is by giving up smoking. Smoking can have a severe impact on the body in many ways, but it is strongly associated with this condition. The chemicals in the cigarette smoke are not the initial cause of acne inversa, but they contribute significantly to the progression of the disease. By giving up smoking, you can delay or even prevent the progression to more severe stages of the condition, which are more difficult to manage.
Obesity can also be a risk factor in developing more severe symptoms of acne inversa. Again, it is not thought to be the primary cause of the condtion, but does lead to worsening symptoms. If you are overweight or obese, then making a concerted effort to reduce your weight and maintain it at a healthy level will help to minimise your symptoms.
Eating a healthy diet is also thought to be one of the most effective methods of keeping the symptoms of acne inversa under control. Many patients have found that turning to the Paleo diet can have a considerable effect on the condition, minimising the symptoms and preventing the progression to more severe stages. The Paleo diet is what scientists believe would have been available to early hunter-gatherer societies, before we became reliant on the agricultural industry for our food. This means that it consists primarily of vegetables, and it is best to eat as wide a range of these as possible. Meat will also be included in the diet, along with fish. You can eat whichever varieties of meat and fish you prefer, though you should also bear in mind that red meat, such as beef, can lead to an increase in the severity of your acne inversa symptoms. However, not all patients experience this, so it would be advisable for you to monitor both your diet and condition, making changes as necessary.
The Paleo diet does not contain any substances such as wheat, which would not have been available in prehistoric times. Starchy foods such as potatoes should also be kept to a minimum. This means that there are a considerable number of foods that you will need to cut out of your diet. However, once you have been on the Paleo diet for about a month, and your symptoms have settled down (you should start to see improvements within the first two weeks), then you can gradually reintroduce your favourite items, one at a time. Keep a food diary to monitor any changes and keep track of the effects that each food has on your condition.
In order to reduce your acne inversa symptoms as much as possible, you should also cut out caffeine. This is a very common stimulant, found in tea, coffee, cola and energy drinks. Many adults have a high intake of caffeine, which is also found in some forms of chocolate. By reducing your intake of caffeine (ideally cutting it out entirely and replacing your favourite drinks with decaffeinated varieties), you should soon start to notice improvements in your condition. It will also start to have other benefits on your health, such as sleeping better and being more alert throughout the day. Read more…