Can I Treat Hidradenitis Suppurativa at Home?
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a skin condition marked by blackheads (often in pairs), red bumps, and larger lumps (or nodules) under the skin. Easily mistaken for acne (and also called acne inversa), this is a more serious condition that develops on the body in specific areas, such as under the armpits, groin, under the breasts, between the buttocks, and on the inner thighs.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa represents the infection of sweat glands and it is marked by the presence of painful red nodules. The lesions frequently extend, open out to the skin surface and drain pus. After several re-occurrences, this disease forms scars. The affection occurs when the infection blocks the sweat gland ducts. The most common areas affected are the armpits, the genitals and the perineum, where there is a close contact between two portions covered by skin, and where the skin is rich in sweat glands and hair follicles.
Reasons to Treat This Condition
It is not a contagious disease, but after healing, it reappears frequently. The condition progresses without a treatment. One untreated abscess can cause deep, painful and suppurating lesions. These lesions can leave you significant scarring on your body. If left untreated, HS can even spread to other areas, including the face.
It can also generates many other complications that are also severe:
- One of the complications of this disease is the cellulite. The cellulite is a very serious bacterial infection of the skin that spreads rapidly.
- This affection can restrict your movement especially when the condition is axillary.
- The untreated disease can cause severe pain and may require surgery.
Recognizing The Risk Factors and Symptoms
Although doctors have not ascertained any precise cause of this disease, to rule out other skin ailments, you can look for the risk factors and symptoms that are unique to this condition. The recognition of these risk factors and symptoms will help you to treat the disease from its early stages.
- Age – Another reason this might be confused with acne is that most people develop this condition just after puberty or in their early 20s.
- Genetics – Some estimate that up to a third of the people who have HS can trace it back to someone else on the family tree.
- Hormonal changes and imbalances – Especially in women around menstruation and pregnancy, hormones can affect the severity of the symptoms.
- Blackheads, tender bumps, and larger lumps recurring again and again – HS follows cyclical patterns. Often, the lumps will leak and either heal, leaving significant scarring, or they may not heal at all and remain open sores.
- Leakage and draining pus –It is very common for the lumps to leak, as stated above, and equally common for them to tunnel and spread under the skin, creating painful channels of pus from one area to another.
Diagnosis and Medical Intervention
If your situation matches the symptoms and risk factors listed above, see a physician before attempting any home remedies below, particularly if you have experienced them for more than a few weeks. The longer HS goes untreated, the worse it becomes.
Your doctor will want to make sure that you don’t have any other issues. A rare possibility is that skin cancer may accompany your HS. More commonly, however, your sores may have become infected. As for treating the nodules themselves, they often require medical intervention, and there is no definitive cure. Treatments could lead to remission, but they are mainly aimed at stopping the spread of nodules and infection, as well as relieving the painful and embarrassing symptoms.
Treatments You Can Follow at Home
- Hot Medicinal Baths – Tea tree oil, olive oil, and other essential oils diluted in a hot bath can soothe your irritated skin. Baking soda, sea salt, and oatmeal can be used, alternatively.
- Hot and Cold Compresses – Alternate hot and cold compresses on the affected areas, hot to soothe and cold to reduce swelling.
- Skin Creams and Ointments – Diaper creams, A&D ointment, and any other topical rub for skin ailments that you can purchase over-the-counter can help.
- Aloe Vera – One of the best natural remedies; aloe has many benefits. It is anti-inflammatory in nature, reducing pain and scarring where the nodules have burst. Antibacterial as well, aloe helps heal the wounds and prevent infection.
The mild cases can be treated with warm compresses and by maintaining a strict local hygiene with an antibacterial soap. The more severe cases require a topical medication (local) and sometimes a general medication (oral). The drugs used include some antibiotics to limit the spread of the infection. In addition, there are a number of natural cures available that have shown very positive effects. Here are some more things you can do:
- Wash the affected area with hydrogen peroxide and betadine.
- Avoid the hair removal until the acute process disappears.
- Take a cure of immunization with echinacea, propolis tincture and oil of thyme. The propolis tincture is also very good for disinfecting the affected area.
- An ancient medicine for this disease is the baked onion. Apply compresses with baked onion on the affected area 2-3 times daily.
- Try to maintain a normal weight. The studies have shown that obese people have a higher risk.
- Follow a diet based on fresh fruits and vegetables. An improper nutrition promotes the disease. So, eat fresh salads and drink natural juices rich in vitamins. These will immunize your body, will speed the healing and will prevent a possible relapse.
These are just some of the ways you can treat Hidradenitis Suppurativa naturally. Keep doing your research and don’t give up!
A book that’s highly recommended is Fast Hidradenitis Suppurativa Cure by Therese Wilson.