Controlling the symptoms of the chronic condition acne inversa involves the long term management of the disorder, and must be implemented once you have received a diagnosis. By managing the condition appropriately, you can minimise the pain and discomfort that you feel, and help to prevent the progression from a mild stage to a more severe form of the disease. Acne inversa may also be known as hidradenitis suppurativa or apocrine cysts.
One of the best methods of long term management for acne inversa is to start following the Paleo diet. A considerable number of patients with the condition note improvements to their symptoms as a result of following this meal plan. The Paleo diet (which can be a misleading name, as its purpose is not necessarily weight loss) is a return to what experts believe could have been eaten by hunter-gatherer societies in prehistoric times. It consists primarily of raw or lightly cooked vegetables (steaming is an ideal method of cooking for this diet), supplemented by meat.
Grains, such as bread, pasta and rice, and starchy foods such as potatoes, are usually avoided, as these would not have been available at this time. Fruit should be included, but ideally these should be varieties of berries, which are low in fructose. Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining health, can be obtained from either nuts, if you are not allergic to them, or oily fish.
Following this eating plan, you should start to see improvements in your symptoms within two weeks. You will then be able to stick to this diet on a long term basis, and it will help to maintain control of your symptoms. If you then want to start reintroducing foods that you had initially eliminated, in order to find out which ones have an impact on your symptoms, you should do this gradually. Introduce one food at a time and closely monitor the effect that it has. You will find this easier to keep track of if you maintain a food diary, recording what you eat and what it does to the severity of your condition. If you identify foods that cause a flare up of your symptoms, then you should try to avoid these in the future.
Before you start on the Paleo diet, you should remove all foods such as pasta and rice from your kitchen. This means that you will find it more difficult to fall back into old eating habits, as the foods simply will not be there for you to eat. Stock up, instead, on fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. Try not to eat too much red meat. Some acne inversa patients find that it can aggravate their symptoms, so if this is the case for you, you may also want to cut it out entirely. In addition to this, red meat such as beef is high in saturated fat, which can have other adverse effects on health, placing you at risk of a number of other conditions.
You may also want to ensure that your diet contains turmeric and zinc. Turmeric is a spice that reduces the inflammation and promotes healing of the abscesses and sinus tracts that develop as the primary symptom of acne inversa. It should be effective when eaten in your food, taken as a supplement in capsule form, or applied directly to the skin after being mixed with a small volume of water. Zinc has also been shown to promote wound healing. The easiest way to ensure that you have enough zinc in your body is to take a supplement of zinc gluconate, which can actually induce remission in acne inversa patients.