Treatment Options for Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS)

Managing Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS): Effective Treatments and Flare-Up Management

Because hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic skin condition that is oftentimes linked with autoimmune diseases, it may be challenging to eliminate entirely. However, there are many treatment options and lifestyle changes that make the management of HS much more effective. In some cases, using a combination of treatment protocols may be recommended by your preferred dermatologist or skin specialist, depending on the severity of your condition.

At Cumberland Skin, we can help you manage your HS. In this blog, we explore a variety of treatment options, lifestyle, and diet choices to help you understand the hollistic approach that can be taken to manage Hidradenitis Suppurativa. Let's explore together!

Topicals and Antibacterial Cleansers

Using both antibacterial cleansers and topical antibiotics can provide relief, minimize the risk of infection, and reduce the bacteria that forms on the skin, triggering the development of new lumps or cysts. Some cleansers include the use of benzoyl peroxide, Clindamycin gel, and chlorhexidine washes. These cleansers should be applied once or twice daily, preferably while bathing.

Along with traditional antibacterial cleansers, topical retinoids, and creams are also available OTC (over-the-counter) or prescribed by your doctor or preferred dermatologist. Some options may include Adapalene and Tretinoin. Keep in mind that some creams may cause irritation and/or dryness as common side effects.

Medications for Hidradenitis Supparativa (HS)

Multiple medications are currently on the market that may help reduce inflammation and combat outbreaks or HS flare-ups. Common antibiotics include Minocycline, Doxycycline, and Tetracycline. If you're seeking biological solutions to reduce inflammatory responses in the immune system, a specialist may recommend Humira or Remicade, both of which are administered via injection.

Additional medications that may help treat flare-ups of hidradenitis suppurativa may include hormonal therapy prescriptions, such as oral contraceptives. Immunosuppressants may also be suggested or prescribed, depending on other potential conditions or autoimmune deficiencies you may already have.

Therapies and Surgery

For some who have been diagnosed with hidradenitis suppurativa, therapies and incisions, along with routine drainage, may be recommended. Incisions and quick drainage methods help alleviate pressure and pain while reducing the risk of swelling, infection, or the development of an abscess. Larger surgeries can remove multiple lumps that may have tunneled beneath the skin while helping to reduce recurrence.

In some instances, laser and light therapy may also be an optimal solution. Light and laser therapy help by reducing inflammation throughout the body and reducing the number of hair follicles in a particular area or region of the skin. This can significantly decrease the flare-ups you experience.

Lifestyle and Diet

Lifestyle and diet play a significant role in HS outbreaks and flare-ups for many individuals who experience the condition. Stress, exercise, and diet should always remain factors that are important to you when dealing with a chronic skin condition such as HS. Some lifestyle and diet tips to keep in mind include:

Stress Levels: Keep stress levels to a minimum. Meditate and eliminate negative triggers or relationships that may cause you to experience a flare-up.

Exercise: Regular exercise can help maintain a healthy metabolism while properly balancing your body's hormone levels naturally.

Diet: Avoid processed foods, sugar, and excessive carbohydrates. 

Understanding the range of treatment options for hidradenitis suppurativa is crucial if you are currently struggling with a flare-up or have experienced the condition for many years. From over-the-counter antibacterial cleanses to medications, laser therapy, skin treatments, and lifestyle changes, it is possible to minimize outbreaks, pain, and scarring with HS. To learn more about hidradenitis suppurativa and the treatment options that may be right for you, contact Cumberland Skin to schedule your consultation today.

Bailey Chitwood, PA: Skin Health and Your Emotional Well Being

General Dermatology Chronic Skin Conditions