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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What lifestyle changes should be made for someone with hidradenitis suppurativa?

    I have a case of hidradenitis suppurativa near my underarms. Is there a diet I can follow to help with the symptoms? Exercise? Is it still ok to use deodorant?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3


    Dr Stuart Aitken

    Sexual Health Specialist

    Dr Aitken's areas of interest include HIV medicine, sexually transmissible infections, skin conditions affecting the genitals, and gender medicine. He offers discrete, specialist consultations in … View Profile

    There are several lifestyle changes that can help with hidradenitis suppurativa:

    Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes that press on the affected areas

    Exercise is great, but avoid rubbing or chafing the affected areas 

    Wash your body gently each day with warm water in a shower. Avoid soaps and body washes, but consider using a soap substitute. Avoid scrubbing with wash clothes or loofahs - use your fingers to gently cleanse the areas affected

    Stop smoking if you are a smoker: there is a strong relationship between smoking and HS

    Aim to lose weight if your weight is elevated

    Avoid using deodorant where possible as it may exacerbate plugging of follicles 

  • 3


    Dr John Frew

    Dermatologist (Skin Specialist)

    Some individuals find lifestyle changes can help their HS- but others find it makes no difference at all.

    Although smoking cessation, weight loss and exercise can help- many individuals with HS are in a catch-22 because the pain and embarrassment of HS limits them in making lifestyle changes.


    HS is an inflammatory medical condition and should be treated medically in combination with lifestyle changes. The most successful outcomes occur when you attack the disease from multiple angles- speak to your dermatologist for more information.

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