Top Remedies for Hidradenitis Suppurativa - Ted's Q&A

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Ted's Remedies

Posted by Ted (Bangkok, Thailand) on 04/19/2010 391 posts

Hidradenitis Suppurativa.

There is two possible remedies, the first one if it works, it works quickly, but whether it works or not you just have to try it. The second one works by deactivating the proteins and stops the spread.

The first remedy is the easiest and responds rather quickly: A solution of magnesium chloride, 70% with 30% water, is applied to the area for about 30 minutes. If it reduces the redness and some swelling then this remedy is workable and can be used for the next couple of days, if a severe one you can use it for a month. The formula needs to modify, and will improve if just get more clients like this.

The second remedy deactivates the protein: the formula is 1/2 teaspoon of tannic acid in 1/4 cup of warm water plus 20 drops of DMSO. Apply to the effected area. Whatever the protein (or autoimmunity) it will deactivate them in a matter of minutes. Still the complete application needs to be applied for at least a week until it's gone. It's not a perfect remedy, but it does work and it needs some improvement. This is the two best remedy I can think of and it can be used together also. I think it is viral since it responds to magnesium. Of course there may be many types of this disease and the cause can be other things too.

It should be noted that I have just one client and the redness and swelling, especially redness disappeared in less then five minutes. It spread throughout the body and bleeds pus with particular area such as scrotum, and folding part of the arm and thighs. Frequency of application is critical. Try about doing it 10 times in first 5-10 minutes.

Do it until it has reduced, and repeat as necessary.

Note: this peculiar condition doesn't respond to antibiotics and steroids. As a result, I suspect it is viral in nature. This is why I used the antiviral magnesium chloride, and tannic acid as a second choice. I wasn't lucky enough to test the lysine as the client was already showing improvement in the condition in a matter of 30 minutes. Lysine would have been my third choice.

The client basically got HS while swimming in khlongs here in Thailand. The infection spread throughout his body quickly but it is concentrated where there is the most sweat, as in pubic areas, behind his knees, in his front part of the elbow, and arm pits. Magnesium idea came from the idea I had when I had a severe conjunctivitis or "red eye" as it is called in Thailand where infections also come from khlongs in Thailand (water canal) also. I suspect they are similar. The idea for magnesium chloride to treat red eye is a simple one: magnesium chloride are antiviral in nature, but you need a fairly concentrated solution on skin application, but possibly a 5%-10% solution in eye application.

General improvement throughout the body was improved in 30 minutes, and local areas after application took the redness out in about 5 minutes. The reason why throughout the body was longer was that he didn't apply them at the same time, particular his back and neck area. I think we can use 5 minute benchmark for local area when gauging its effectiveness. The cause for this condition might be other things and may require different remedy. Hydrogen peroxide 3% solution applied to skin area also worked, but to a limited extent, not as dramatic as the magnesium chloride, however, but it did reduce some itching and some pus actually came out also. We can use towel as abrasive agent, and I also MADE the magnesium chloride solution stronger, BY ADDING ABOUT 10-20 DROPS OF DMSO, in a 10 cc magnesium chloride solution to increase its penetrative properties. Too much DMSO may sting the skin and always clean affected area before application of magnesium chloride and DMSO. If magnesium chloride is applied alone, then cleaning the effected area maybe less critical, but cleaning is still done by using plain water, or a tannic solution as a cleaning agent before application of DMSO and magnesium chloride is how I would approach this.

Replied by Linda
Anon, USA

Hello Ted,

Thank you for your information on hidradenitis suppurativa at the Eath Clinic web site. I am going to start with the magnesium chloride bath salts. I have had hidradenitis suppurativa for five years, and am a 60 year old female. Am worried about applying the magnesium chloride directly to the skin since the "wounds" are so open and in my groin area.


Replied by Ted
Bangkok, Thailand
391 posts

Dear Linda,

A weaker solution of magnesium chloride may cause less pain, such as a 5% magnesium chloride solution. Actually it can be as high as 10% and has minimum sting. The most painless of all remedy is a tannic acid solution which will denature any bacteria, viruses and other unknown organism on contact. To give some penetrating powers to reach the bacteria, a DMSO solution is added. For example, if I were to prepare a 100 cc of water, I will need roughly 1 teaspoon of tannic acid plus 1/2 teaspoon of DMSO. The local application with perhaps a cotton bud, or application directly to the area should dry up the wounds painlessly. Magnesium chloride is a bit more painful, but once the wounds dry up, the the magnesium chloride may be applied with minimum pain. As you know,tannic acid denatures proteins and converts them into leather, so when you apply to flesh wounds it basically cause the active organism to be dead on contact, by denaturing. So this is about the best broad spectrum contact antibiotic and antiviral there is, a simple tannic acid solution.


Replied by Linda
Shasta, Ca, United States

Hello Ted,

Glad you are doing well in Thailand. I have been using black tea bags as a compress on my skin for two days now. This is for the tannic acid, until I can find the tannic acid powder. Do I purchase it from a compounding pharamcy, or do you know of another source? When I find the tannic acid powder, I will use 1/2 teaspon in 1/4 cup warm water and then use that as a compress for 30 minutes.

I also want to try the magnesium chloride, and am I correct that I can buy that from an aquarium supply store? I am thinking this is safe to add to bath water and soak because fish swim in it! Do I have that correct?

Thanking you again,

Replied by Jonathan
Saint Louis, Missouri

I have suffered from HS for over twenty years. My last major outbreak (boils the size of golf balls and bigger) was over five years ago when I started using tea tree oil topically. Within a few days, the boil drained (easily, with no squeezing or lancing) and finally went away. I have maintained an outbreak-free life with the usual antibiotics. I have always wondered if the tea tree oil actually worked or if it was just coincidence. Well, this week, a small boil appeared (about the size of a kernel of corn). I immediately applied tea tree oil and continued for three or four days. The boil never grew larger and drained easily today. I used tea tree oil minimally on the site of inflammation after showers. After the boil drains, I continue to minimally apply tea tree oil to the site to help dry the lesion. Works for me.

Replied by Jessica
Birmingham, England

Hi im 24 in the morning and have suffered with hs and the embrassment of hs since I was about 16/17 I stopped swimming, stopped wearing certain clothes etc. The doctor referred me to a dermo who put me on long term antibiotics which did work long term but had other side effects. Anti bacterial gel stings but does work. I just found this website and will try the baby powder and tea tree oil. Does anyone know if I can get dial soap in the uk ? And if I use turmeric powder in warm water how much ? thanks x

Replied by Andrea
Lahaina, Hi

I have had HS for almost 20 years. I have outbreaks under my armpits, breasts and between my thighs. I started taking AZO Yeast Supplements about two years ago because I started getting Thrush on my tongue. I thought it was due to Wellbutrin, which I was taking at the time. Miracles beyond miracles my HS started to clear up. I was taking one pill a day for the thrush and now I take two pills daily without fail. If I forget a day I immediately get a breakout, then I take 4 pills, then almost overnight I start to heal. I just ordered 10 boxes of Azo Yeast pills on They are inexpensive and I will take them the rest of my life. I am convinced that HS is related to an overproduction of yeast.

Replied by Maria
Gippsland, Australia

Hi there, after reading this post from Andrea I googled to check out their low cost supplements. My attention was drawn to the amount of pages devoted to scams. I think people should look for themselves before ordering from this company. One site I looked at was:

Forewarned is forearmed I believe.

Replied by Andromeda
San Diego, Ca

Dear Ted
Thank you for your awesome contributions. I would like to try the tannic acid solution with dmso. Is it ok to use a wine tannin powder? If so how much would you add to warm water to get a strong enough solution similar to that of the acid? Thank you

Replied by Kuudere
Norwalk, Ca, U.s.a

Hi Ted,
I was wondering why the doctors here in the U. S. Resort to surgery to "fix" HS? You stated that you suspect HS is viral in nature... Therefore, can it not be cured otherwise? Taking out the sweat glands seems like getting rid of the symptoms and not really curing the underlying reasons?

I have been HS for the past 2 plus years and am fed up enough to consider going for full graft surgeries. Has anyone had them done in their armpits? Can you please talk abt your experience and if the boils ever came back? Maybe to a different area? I feel so frustrated at not being able to have full mobility of my arms! Please advice. Thank you!

Replied by Emily
Sanfran, Ca

Hello kuudre, yes I had the surgery done. I got this horrible disease after I had a a child. While being stationed in arizona. That was 8 yrs ago. I still get them. Not worth the pain, i wouldnt suggest it. Accutaine didn't work, face has cleared thou: sorry im doing this on playstation, but im going to try the other possible remedy s. Lets hope som. This holds u back from allot of stuff in life. Eone finds a cure

Replied by Kuudere
Norwalk, Ca, U.s.a

Thanks Emily! Did u have full graft surgeries? I've read that those usually have good long term results. I was considering Accutane too but it has so many side effects! Yes, HS is horrid but don't let it get to you! I've been trying turmeric and it really does help a lot! I think drinking Aloe Vera (1/2 a glass) and ACV BS in water throughout the day helps a lot too! Btw, have u considered homeopathy? I don't quite know the stuff my homeopath doctor gave me but it helped considerably and I'm still on that stuff. I think alternative medicine is probably the best way to go with this disease. Thanks again Emily! And good luck finding something that works for you! =)

Replied by Emily
San Fran Bay Area , Ca

Hello Emily here again - well as far as homeopathic, no. I've tried the following : aldara 5% which is for warts.. I was desperate :), providone iodone I dipped a cotton ball in iodine and then taped it to the affected area. I didn't keep up with it due I was scared of being poisoned, colloidal silver. Didn't keep up with this either. I was again.. scared of being poisoned and I lavish the skin with plenty of the product by absorbing it in a cotton ball that stays very wet. The best product I bought from otc, I don't have the bottle due to I bought a large volume and now after 5 years have ran out. It's in a light turquiose/ green color bottle and the liquid is pink and its medical grade because I always see it at the doc office they've scrubbed my areas down before they lance it. And they wipe it off. Its like 10 buks for a 7-8 ounce bottle at walgreens or riteaid stores. But I had found it for about 50-60 bucks for a gallon of it. So I had bought that online. Which I'm seeking to track down as I type. I've also tried Epsom salt bath, doenst help. Good diet, doesnt help. Exercise makes it worse due to sweat even if you take a shower right after working out. And thats about it besides the surgery.

Now skin grafts no that's not what they did. The doc cut a diamond shaped patch of skin out of my arm pit and just sewd it up. It looks like a hak job. But it's probably one of the worst places to have surgery. That was the only location I had the surgery, healing took about a good 2 months and with all kinds of puss oozing. It did get infected also. The scares are the worst. I never lift my arms it looks horrific, if you want pics I'll be more than happy to send them. Basically the topical antibacterial pink stuff seems to be the best. They go away really quick after it opens up and I put the cotton ball with the pink stuff on there. Recently they started forming different. Now when they pop the meat from inside my body seems to want to come out and it will look like a bloody red nipple because its a piece of tissue. Its weird. Not like before. Ohhh and the first one I ever noticed was like size of a softball in my armpit socket. And the VA doc didn't know what it was. So they poked it and took a sample with a big needle. Well I kinda wish I never did that. Because I think that's what started this whole mess. Kinda like cancer. When u poke at it and start cutting it away it seems to spread. Well that's what I belive happened.. Im just scared im going to pass it on to my off spring, so im very careful how I wash our clothes and contact. Oh to my knowledge, it's the sweat glands that get clogged and the doc said he took some of the glands out that had ruptured. Dont know how true it is. Oh Ive heard of radiation on the outside of the skin my sister was telling me but I guess it leaves u with black skin. Ive considered the professional wart freezing stuff, maybe that will freeze them and the liquid on the inside and kill it. Im willing to go thru that pain but will it be safe for me and practice for the doc.. I havnt asked my dermatologist to do it I think he'll laugh at me.

So thats about it.. I like this web site thanks for everyone who made this possible. We need one with pictures of ppl on it because im sure there's people out there that are living a lonely life because of this and maybe if they could associate with others that have the disease then it would make like allot happier. Thanks all and ill keep in touch as I look for a cure for us!!

Replied by Emily
Moved To Sacramento Ca, Ca

Does ANYONE ELSE feel like this when they have a large outbreak? Like weighed down like you can feel a virus coming on? When ever these things come I get really drained and feel like im getting sick. Then once they pop in a matter of hours you feel relieved.

Replied by Kuudere
Norwalk, Ca, U.s.a

Hi Emily! Thanks for replying! I am so so sorry to hear your going through an outbreak. This disease really does make you feel very lonely but just hang in there! I have not tried to the pink stuff you're talking abt but I'll list everything that has helped me in hopes that you'll find some relief soon!

1. Turmeric: 1/2 tsp morning and nite in warm water. It tastes gross but it provides relief almost immediately.

2. Rose water: It has anti-bacterial properties n is cooling to the skin. I use this to clean the infected area/wounds abt twice a day. It has a nice smell to it too and I've noticed that it has helped to lighten the scarred skin somewhat.

3. Dettol: Its a antiseptic liquid disinfectant (kinda similar to Betadine) and I use abt 1-2 capfuls in a big bucket of warm water and take shower with this stuff every morning. It leaves a faint smell afterwards but its not bad and keeps infections at bay!

4. Apple Cider Vinegar (4 tbsp) Baking Soda (1/2 tbsp) 1/2 sliced lime in a large bottle (or 8 glasses of water): just drink this water thru-out the day. It keeps the body alkalized n minimizes the severity of outbreaks. Just keep the area as dry as possible and air it out as much as possible. I hope at least one of these things work for you! I'll be praying for u. Stay strong! =)

Replied by Marlene
Boston, Ma, Usa

Emily is talking about Hibiclens. It's a surgical wash that is ok to use on wounds. No stinging and it is antibacterial. This wash also takes away the smell/deoderizes the area. Emily in response to your question: YES after a recent bad flare-up of HS I had a total feeling of malaise and thought that I was really getting sick. But, at the same time I knew it was just the painful cyst getting to me. I could barely read my son a book I was so miserable the night before the drain. For two or three days I was in bad shape and then when the cyst drained (on its own, easily after applying hot cloths) I felt SO MUCH better all over my body.

Replied by Emily
Sacramento , Ca


Replied by Bren
Allentown, Pennsylvania Usa

Hi I have HS. I have a small outbreak right now (near the pubic bone) and it is draining. I have to cover it with a band aid so I can go to work. Any tips for me?
Thanks. Metalic_sunrise(at)yahoo(dot)com

Replied by Gerald
Sacramento, Ca

Hi everyone, I have been dealing with HS since I was about 16 (I'm 26 now), and I have Stage 3. It's manageable at times but currently there's some areas in groin area that are becoming more inflamed and pink-ish/raw looking. I'm going to try the AZO that Andrea suggested and hopefully that will help. I just started a blog that lists other things I've tried for HS. Feel free to read and comment.

Replied by Mapuha
Brooklyn, New York

Ted, for the magnesium chloride, is it a 70% magnesium chloride strength solution or is it a solution made with regular magnesium chloride liquid and water 7:3?

Replied by Renee
Kona, Hi

I have a HS right now on the side of my leg near the groin area. It got to be about as big as a half dollar and raised or swollen out. I can hardly walk and can barely sit down. I went to an urgent care here, (which was expensive) because I didn't know what it was. The doctor made a small incision (1/2") and pulled it out. It looked about as big as a dime and was white or cream in color. It has been a week and I am still bruised badly. I wish I had of known these remedies and I wouldn't have gone to the doctor. Live and learn. I hate that anyone has to go through this, it is so painful.

Replied by Karen
Orlando, Fl

Hi. I'm not sure if I have HS. Maybe someone could tell me if this sounds familiar. I have been to the doctor once for a bump in my groin area. It was the size of a nickle and was painful. She took a swab, said it was just pus, gave me an antibiotic and sent me on my way. I don't remember when they started. In high school I was on the swim team and I think it started when I was working as a lifeguard. One of the worst lumps I had was a little bigger than a golf ball in my armpit. It hurt so bad I could barely move my arm. I've never had one that big again, but now I'm getting ones that won't heal and the clear liquid that drains from it stinks! The openings are tiny, but they keep draining. I have them in both armpits, in my groin area, and near my rectum. Since my doctor dismissed me the first time, I have just dealt with it for the past 5 years. But now I am really breaking out. I have a lot of small scars in my armpits and several hard pencil eraser sized lumps under my skin. My boyfriend is very understanding and helps me apply bandaids, but I'm beginning to feel disgusting. Especially because of the smell that the pus gives off. I have done some research on this and have seen the pictures of people that have massive amounts of tissue exposed. Can a mild case of HS turn into something that serious or is this something different? Is HS something that researchers and doctors are looking into?

Replied by Beckyrooonio
Brady, Texas, U.s.a.


Replied by Capcity
Bronx, Ny

IF this AZO Yeast works as well as Ms. Andrea claims I SEND HER BIG, TIGHT HUGZ from NYC! I purchased it & started w/ 2 tablets today (6/6/11) - as soon as I discovered her method. GOD, I hope this works for me, too! Thanx in advance because the theory makes TOTAL sense! I've noticed I have terrible outbreaks when I've eaten too much bread or pasta... We shall see (I am SO optimistic that FINALLY I will see these monsters diminish)! I look forward to wearing bathing suits again!

"10/03/2010: Andrea from Lahaina, Hi replies: "I have had HS for almost 20 years. I have outbreaks under my armpits, breasts and between my thighs. I started taking AZO Yeast Supplements about two years ago because I started getting Thrush on my tongue. I thought it was due to Wellbutrin, which I was taking at the time. Miracles beyond miracles my HS started to clear up. I was taking one pill a day for the thrush and now I take two pills daily without fail. If I forget a day I immediately get a breakout, then I take 4 pills, then almost overnight I start to heal. I just ordered 10 boxes of Azo Yeast pills on They are inexpensive and I will take them the rest of my life. I am convinced that HS is related to an overproduction of yeast."

Replied by Allie
Winters, Texas

I just discovered this condition a few hours ago, because I have an outbreak right now that is particularly bothersome. Im 17 but ive been getting them for years, I almost always have them under my arms and they are very annoying. My mom doesnt think much of them because she said she used to get them when she was younger but then it stopped when she got older. And my aunt gets them sometimes as well. But everything ive read about this so far seems so head on. I really want to know what I can do to make these things go away.. At least for a little while, and with no surgery. Im just tired of the scars!

Replied by Joyce
Henderson, Tn Usa

my twelve year old was diagnosed yesterday and the dr wants me to see a general surgeon tomorrow. I am concerned that opening up her armpit seems so extreme. It isnt draining, but we have kept hot compresses every hour on the hour for 24 hrs now. It seems to have softened. Also with epsom salt. I am so saddened by what I have learned of hs in this one day. diet makes good sense to me. Yeast is a huge culprit of many health issues. I have had another one of my children soak her feet in tea water to control sweat and stinky feet. caffiene also dries skin out. Has anyone tried, or know of these things being effective in treatment? also, is surgery effective or does it exasperate the problem?

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

read up on this site about turmeric.

Replied by Ace
Vancouver, Bc/canada

One thing that has really helped me - and my HS was really bad about 4-5 months ago - is laser hair removal - my groin area was especially very ugly with HS - and now with the hair removal, it has improved a lot - just a few infections here and there, but nowhere near as bad as it used 2 b!

Replied by Pinetree
Waukesha, Wi

Hey could someone help me. I think I might have HS but I am not sure. I have been getting these pimple/cyst like things for years I get them on my inner thighs, under my armpits sometimes not all the time and on my ass too. Some I have notice are from where clothes have rubbed against them. I am too afraid to tell my doc about it but my obgyn knows I get these pimples and just says they are rashes but idk. But right now I have a huge one on my thigh that it hurts too much to walk. They also sometimes itch alot so I think that is from heeling. I try to pop them and when I do pop them only blood and pus come out of them and then they go down a bit but come back. I have been getting this since I was 9 years old ( when I started to get my period) so if anyone can help that would be good.

Replied by Danielle
Chicago, Il

First off, thank you to everyone who has posted and shared here- words cannot express how relieved/hopeful I feel after stumbling upon this site! I am a 30 year old female who has suffered from this (in silence and ignorance) for about 10 years. I was too embarrassed to go to the gyno before (I only have them on my groin) and now I have no health insurance. I felt like I had an STD or something even though I knew I didn't, so I haven't been sexually active in about 5 years because of it. When a cyst appeared, I would sterilize a needle and poke at least one hole in it... Never a good idea, I know. The holes would bleed, sometimes a lot, but I could never get the pus out right away even though I would push the needle far into the sac. But then later, usually when I was sleeping, sitting, or taking a shower, the holes I made would produce a thick yellowy substance and I would be soooo happy. (It feels weird to be happy when you feel warm goo on the side of your underwear or running down your leg, but I knew that meant the severe pain I felt would be decreased substantially after some of the pus drained and my skin would no longer be stretched to its limit. ) They usually went away after that, although I had some stubborn ones that I had to poke a bunch of times, and some left scars. And they kept coming back in different places around my groin. I thought they were caused by ingrown hairs when I shaved my bikini line. I also have hyperhydrosis which means my hands and underarms drip sweat, and sometimes my socks and panties feel like they've been dipped in water, which probably either causes or exasturbates this condition.

Right now, I have two cysts (groin and inner leg in crease) that seem to be connected and WILL NOT GO AWAY! I've had them for about 4 months and they will bust open (I've stopped poking myself with needles), drain, start to feel better, but then they'll fill right back up and the whole thing starts over again. I have been beside myself on what to do about it and would sit in a bucket of acid and endure the pain if I knew it would make them go away... But finding this site gives me so much hope as now I,

A: know what I have and know I'm not the only one who suffers with it.

B: Found so many things I can try to get rid of them, all better than a bucket of acid, I might add.

And C: Just feel less like a freak. I was wondering, though, if HS is hereditary because I recently found out both my dad and my 10 year old niece suffer from it. Also my niece takes "bleach baths" for 10 minutes every other day and that keeps her outbreak-free. Has anyone else had any luck with that? I'm definetely going to try the tea tree oil, tumeric, burdock root, colloidal silver, apple cider vinegar, and antibacterial liquid soap (like Dial). Is there any danger in mixing certain things or trying too many things together? Any help would be appreciated. AGAIN, THANX TO EVERYONE WHO POSTED AND SORRY MINE RAN ON SO LONG!

Replied by Freedom45
Lenoir, North Carolina

I love this site it is soooo helpful

Replied by Lisa
Portsmouth, Uk

Hello all glad I've come across this site and to read about that Im not alone. I've had HS for 21yrs now and I'm 33 and trying not to let it rule my life. I get between 10 and 21 a wk. I've had my glands removed 9 times. I'm in every wk having the more painful ones removed. I've been on humria infliximab antibiotics for 20yrs- none of it works. I'm now trying an acne drug for the past 5 months and no its not working. I get them under my arms, boobs, belly, groin, bum, down my legs and coming down the lower arm. I feel for any one that has this. I so no what your all going through but hearing there is no cure makes me feel what is the point. I've tried to be strong all the yrs barely being able to walk some days and still trying to work as well as look after my family.

Replied by Jasmine
Columbus, Georgia

I dont know where to begin. Just when I thought I was all alone with this detestable disease, I find that their are others suffering as well. I cant tell you all how appreciative and thankful I am for you all sharing your stories with me and every1 else. It has given me confidence to share mine. I'm a 23 yr old student suffering with HS. I've had this skin disease since the age of 14. I just found out what the disease was about a yr and a half ago. I have them everywhere. From my inner thighs, both under arms, stomach, and around my groin. I've been to countless doctors. I've taken so many antibotics that my body is now immune to them. The smell is absolutely stifling. I try to go out but people in my neighborhood, know me as the girl that "smells. " I literally spend my nites alone crying. I dont date, I barely have a social life. Guys want to take me out, and I refuse to go because I dont want people to smell that horrible stench on me. I bathed and shower @ least 3 times a day. The 1's under my arm smell and the leak the most. I have about 4 to7 boils under both arms. I put hot rags under my arms all day everyday. When they do bust, they drain and smell so bad, that I literally will not go anywhere for several days at a time. It smells as though something is dead. It brings tears to my eyes because I just want to be some what normal. I want to be able to wear certain things. Hold my arms up with out having this horrible smell. Go out with groups of people without being self conscious.

I'm so happy to have found this site. It gives me hope, faith, and confidence that I will be able to find something that works for me. This site makes me feel accepted. I'm not the only person going through this tragedy on a daily bases. You all are my inspiration. Thank you all so much, you dnt know how much your stories means to me.

Replied by Z
Coastal, Ca

Never use deodorant. Chlorophyll concentrate gets rid of body odor. I take 1 gel cap (100mg) morning and night.

Replied by Kory
Champlain, Ny Usa

Hi everyone. I'm Kory, age 26. From what I can tell I have HS when I was 11yrs old I was told I had hair folical disease where my skin was too thick and my hair to thin to grow out and created ingrown hairs. I have them going down my side lower part of armpit, inner thighs and upper groin area, mid chest, upper and mid back, and on my both my butt cheeks. They get big red and almost black in middle. They left alot of scarring and always leak alot of blood and black coagulated blood with hairs in it. I just want it to stop already. I want to be able to swim with my shirt off without have to walk with my arms pinned to the side, id like to show my body to my partner without having to try and maneuver myslf into positions so they cant see the scarring. I hate I cant wear white shirts because of the blood stains. I just want something that truely works =/

Replied by Sarah
Port St Lucie, Fl

Prevention rather than curing the problem:

I have struggled with HS for about 10 years now and like many people I didn't tell anyone for quite awhile. Finally I went to the doctor and was dx with HS. He gave me an antibiotic and topical gel to use during flare-ups (I'd say I have a mild case, no tracts or oozing lesions).

The antibiotics and gel work ok but I'm left with a scar and its painful during the healing process so I've been experimenting with ways to avoid getting them all together. By no means an I 100% cured but I will say that a change in my diet made a HUGE difference. I don't know if eatting healthier lessened the flare-ups or if eatting healthier caused me to lose weight which helped with the flare-ups but either way I only have one or two a year and I can almost always look back and say "ok I had a flare-up but I've been eating a lot of processed crap lately". I do not eat super healthy or organic foods, I just stay away from fast food and processed/refined carb type foods as much as possible. I may take a month or two for all that built-up stuff to get out of your body but I'd highly reccommend this change to anyone suffering from this disease!

If you are wondering some of the biggest changes I've made are I drink mostly water and only minimal amounts of soda and I buy a lot more fresh fruits and veggies rather than canned, frozen, or boxed foods. I didn't make any drastic changes but I try to limit the amount of preservatives or highly refinded carbs I eat.

Has anyone had any success with changing their diet?

Replied by Horse2rein
Port Charlotte, Florida, Usa

I have suffered with this for 30 years. I have tried just about every"remedy" out there. As of late, the only thing I have found to work is taking zinc, antibacterial soap and (of all things) rubbing hand sanitizer in the areas most affected and frequent. For some reason, the hand sanitizer dries them up within a few days, and whatever you do, DON'T squeeze them. It usually takes a couple of weeks for the existing ones to go away, but if you religiously use the hand sanitizer, when they DO come back, they are small like a pimple and virtually painless. Hope this helps...

Replied by Mary
Marystow, Newfoundland

Thanks so much, alot of information here and alot of things I have not tried, which I will be trying. I have had this problem now for many years. I always have a couple and at times have had over 20. First my doctor prescribed antibiotics, I keep telling him no if I have two I'll end up with more than what I had at the time. During my pregnancy, I never had the one, which surprised me. I was thinking it was a hormonal problem. After I had my child, slowly I was getting them back again.

Replied by Tabby
Hillsborough, Nc

Thank God I found this website! I have been suffering from HS for 23 years now. I got my first one when I was pregnant. I have tried everything under the sun with exception of the surgery (I did get a consult and the surgeon could not guarantee they would not return). I have horrible scar tissue under my arms, breast, butt, and groin area. It's terribly embarrassing. I shower several times a day when I have open wounds, which is nearly every day. I usually have at least 4 at a time, I have had up to 20. When I was being treated at the wound clinic at the local hospital here, I was told to quit smoking and that would help. I quit and it did help, and very quickly. They calmed down but I still get them. I have one under my arm right now that is very painful. I'm grateful to see all the suggestions on here. I'm going to try the zinc first and see what happens with that. I'm wondering if anyone has a problem with the area actually healing... I've had a few that have been open for months. They almost heal and then open back up and drain before they can heal completely. Thanks for anymore suggestions! Best to everyone.

Replied by Kelly
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

I'm so glad/relieved to come across this website! I'm now 18 and have been suffering HS for 6 years (only in my groin area). I have always felt embarrassed to talk to any gynecologist about it because it is such a rare condition that anyone seems to have seldom knowledge about. Also it has made me very self-conscious with my sex life because I was always afraid that my partner would automatically think I had an STD or something and I would never be able to maintain a stable relationship because of it. I have tried antibiotics and washes but they still come back and leave ugly scars. I go through boxes of band-aides because the pain sometimes is so unbearable when my underwear rubs the cysts and I can barely walk.

Anyways I wanted to say thank you for sharing your tips and stories it has made me realize I'm not the only one! I used to say to my mom that it was just "my luck" that I had some mystery disease that no one had answers too so thank you everyone! You've really helped me and made me feel better and finally be able to open up about this condition we share(:

Replied by Tad
Green Bay, Wi

Goodiness, I don't even know where to start. I've have been recently dx with this disease but I have been dealing with this pain, sadiness, embarassment for over a year. Actually my dermatologist said there is nothing more he can do for me; I cried because nothing has changed in a year. I have a bad case that keeps get worse. I am happen to finally break down and search the net for treatment and I came along this site. I am so happy there are things I can try but I don't know where to start. I have this HS everywhere that skin touchs skin, well in my opioion ie groin, behind ears, under breast, under my stomach. I do realize I would benefit from weight loss but everytime I try to work out I am in so much pain, doctor also said there was nothing for pain that would help.

Replied by Michelle
London, England

I am 36 and suffered with HS since I was 13 and startd puberty and am convinced that there is a hormonal connection, as my outbreaks always start just b4 a period. I have bathed in numerous medical solution, completely convinced to treat HS electrolis is the way forward. Yes I have had a 10 inch cyst operated on, seaweed packing, open wound, changed daily. The pain was suicidal, plus the humilation of taking 4 months to heal, did not work either, 7 years on the same cyst will still flare. I do not recommend surgery to any 1 with this. The cysts are connected to nerve ending and our own body heat seems to feed them, the reason people feel ill with their outbreaks is because they are, if blood tests were taken they would show blood cultures and signs of infection were present and may have a raised temperature. I am talking of the tests that have been performd on me during hospital stays. I also no 1 mentions the connection to diabetes, I dont have it, but have a type 1 diabetic daughter, whilst pregnant was the only time HS left me alone.

Replied by Rise From The Dead Red
Alameda, Ca

This is in response to Jasmine from Columbus, Georgia in particular - Jasmine, I just want to say that I completely empathize and understand your pain. I, too, suffer from hs and was absolutely terrified of what others thought of me and my condition, especially those who were interested in me (and vice versa) on a personal, intimate level. There was a time where I stopped dating altogether because of it, too. But before that, I covered up the inflamed areas with stage make-up (I'm not joking), which of course, worsened the outbreaks. I also refused to have any lights on and wouldn't let anyone touch or look at me "down there" EVER. And when asked why not, I never could say, which naturally confused and pushed them away. But I'm here to tell you that there is a person out there for you who is going to love you no matter what. There IS a lid for every pot, including yours; you just have to believe this, too. For a long time, I couldn't imagine this for myself, but after I took some time to heal on an emotional/mental/spiritual level and learn to love myself - "ugly" hs and all - things started to fall into place. And although I am not "cured" of hs (is anyone?), my husband tells me I'm beautiful despite it... And I believe him! :) You are also beautiful - inside and out - so don't let anyone tell you different.

For hs prevention, I've found that the following has helped tremendously:

1.) Daily meditation - Even if it's for a few minutes, take the time. Not sure how to do it or where to start? Simply focus on your breath, the "in" and "out".
2.) Plenty of exercise - Helps relieve stress which I believe plays a major hand in hs outbreaks.
3.) Keep refined sugars (breads, in particular), processed foods, caffeine, and dairy products (especially cheese) to an absolute minimum in your daily diet - Avoiding them altogether would probably be best, but even making small changes can help. The less you consume, the less acidic your body will be, which I believe in turn, will help keep the hs at bay.
4.) Drink plenty of water with lemon - As a lot of people have mentioned, this helps to alkalize the body. Again, the less acidic your body is, the better. You could also do ACV (a "shot" in the morning" and a "shot" at night) in addition/instead of adding lemon to your water. Just don't stop drinking water! :)
5.) Fish Oil - From my doctor: "Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids that may help to improve inflammatory conditions (and improve cholesterol! ). Nordic Naturals and Carlson are two good brands (higher omega-3 content and low mercury). You want to get 2000-25000 mg of DHA EPA daily as capsules or liquid (this is crucial, so be sure to read labels. For example, I take 4 capsules of Carlson Super Omega-3 Gems Fish Oil [concentrate] because there is 500mg of EPA & DHA per capsule). Store fish oil capsules in the freezer and take with food to avoid "fishy burps" and upset stomach."
6.) Probiotics - Again, from my doctor: "Probiotics can be helpful in diarrhea, allergies, asthma, and other inflammatory conditions. Look for Lactobacillus and/or Saccharomyces boulardii strains. Jarrow and Culturelle are two good brands. Adults can start with 10 billion colony-forming units daily with an ultimate goal of 20 billion cfu daily."
7.) Love yourself.

Best to you, Jasmine, and to everyone else suffering from this terrible, severely under-researched disease.

Replied by Jenn T
Gainesville, Ga

Hi Everyone, I'm 24 and have suffered from HS since I was 11 years old. It started as one or two nickel sized boils on my buttocks that made it very painful to sit and were incredibly embarrassing when they would burst on my clothes. It progressed to my inner thighs and then eventually also my underarms. For a while hot baths and tea tree oil were my only relief. However, one night my husband (then fiance) read an article about sulfates in shampoo causing dandruff. I have known since I was a child that I am allergic to Sulfa drugs (they cause hives and boils on me). He thought, "Hey, what if because you're allergic to Sulfa, you're allergic to sulfates too?" So we tried it. I immediately threw out all shampoo and body wash (they contain Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate) switched to Pure Castille Soap (I like the lavendar best). I saw a drastic improvement within days, but still had flare ups when I ate to much bread or pasta... Guess what... All of the breads I had contained some form of sulfate (calcium sulfate or ferrous sulfate). I got rid of that and now either make my own bread or buy bakery bread (there are a few brands of shelf bread that are sulfate free too such as Oroweat Oatnut). More improvement, but still the rare mild occurence, one day my husband (always my savior) read the ingredients on our shredded cheese... It had calcium sulfate as an anti caking agent! Got rid of that and have had "normal" skin (minus the scars of course) for over a year! I read all labels very carefully on what I eat and do not eat any bread or shredded cheese when I go out to eat. If I consume sulfates I will have a flare up within 24 hours, which I treat with tea tree oil, but since keeping my system relatively free of sulfates mishaps clear up quickly. I highly recommend trying eliminating sulfates from your life if you too are allergic to Sulfa drugs. It has changed my life and let me feel normal. FYI: for Shampoo and Body wash I like either Pure Castille Soap, for conditioner Pomegranate Sunflower or Herbal both work very well, and Oatnut bread is sulfate free, check cheese. Beware of all processed foods and read labels carefully... Cheeto's used to be my treat, but unfortunately they contain sulfates.

Replied by Timh
Louisville, Ky, Usa
2063 posts

Jenn, thanx for this valuable input, as many folks NEVER make the connection to the cause of their illness. If I might add, and to push the issue even out of the arena of "avoidance" (of which I am not a proponent : all the fearful subtraction and limitations Vs complete healing). As the common modern diet is mostly deficient in nutrition and is plentiful in additives, GMO's, chems, pathogens, etc. Issues like the one you have pop up an ugly head and threaten a life. In your case, sulfate or sulfite sensitivity or reactions are directly linked to a deficiency in the mineral Molybdenum. 250-500 mcgs daily could completely reverse the problem.

For me, MolyB has almost completely reversed a dangerous wasting syndrome due to an inability to detoxify toxic aldehydes produces from a fungal infection.

Replied by Lele
Oakland, Ca, USA

I like to thank everyone for the questions, comments and concerns. I've been suffering with HS for many years, and I had my sweat glands removed from under my arms about 12 years ago and I must say it was a success for me, after suffering for 10 years with open wounds under my arms I felt surgery couldn't get any worse.

However I'm now suffering with outbreaks again under my breast and under my belly, I've been using cornstarch to keep dry and I buy tons of band aids as well. I'm going to try the tea tree oil and the _____ yeast supplements I already use dial anti-bacterial soap.

I've been feeling really depressed about the scars on my breast and my stomach lately. I'm happy to have stumbled upon this website, sometimes I feel like giving up but to hear I'm not alone does a lot for my spirit. Again thank you all so much.

Replied by Charity
Three Rivers, Michigan

I have had HS for two years and have had no luck finding anything to help until now! I went to walmart and picked up this cleanser called HIBICLENS (Chlorhexidine Gluconate solution 4.0%). It is an antiseptic/antimicrobial skin cleanser that is used pre-operations and as a surgical hand scrub. I was with it on the infected area twice a day and have seen very significant chances :)

Replied by Lee
Maryville, Tn. Usa

10% Povidone-Iodine (Betadine) is by far the best way to ward off a nasty boil in Hidraddenitis Suppurativa. At the first sign of a bump, pimple, or boil, saturate a cotton ball with the solution and hold it on the lesion for a few seconds. Then, gently swab it----do not use alot of hard pressure and don't rub vigorously!! Do this morning and night when they first appear, and they will never even develope. Walmart has a generic brand that is alot cheaper than the Betadine brand. Both brands are excellent. The only drawbacks to this highly effective treatment are the fact that providone-iodine is brown and stains ones underwear. However, it washes out completely in the washing machine. Also this is not a cure---it just keeps the bumps from getting big and bad and makes them go away quickly if you catch them early. Since going on an organic food only diet, I really have seen great improvement in the number of outbreaks. Also, any sugar other than honey is a no-no for me. But before I wised up and got on organic food, I was besieged by this affliction and the providone-iodine was a God-send!! I honestly believe this in an endocrine problem caused by unethical food suppliers ----pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified seeds(wheat, corn, soy, etc. ), human growth hormones, etc. Are not meant for human consumption. We have a delicate hormonal balance in our bodies, and the above can really screw it up. Organic foods contain none of the above, so maybe that's why after years of chronic outbreaks, they have almost stopped since getting on 100% organic foods only. I never eat out---I cook everything from scratch, and I never use a microwave(another very unhealthy habit). If you never eat out, organic food costs you about the same in your monthly budget. Providone-iodine10% topical solution plus organic food knocks the socks off of hidraddenitis suppurativa!!!! If you can't stick to the organic diet to lessen the occurences, just treat the lesions as early as possible with the providone-iodine---stop those suckers in their tracks!!!!

Replied by Anon

Hi, try bathing in Epsom salts the magnesium is an amazing healer for boils and cysts which can also be due to excess calcium. Try it.

Replied by Madre
Auckland, Nz

It is with great sadness and compassion that I read about problems with boils, in particular Hydradenitis Suppurativa.

I had my first groin boil in 1983, then again one in 2003, and again one in 2007. Never really knew what it was, thought it was a pressure sore or something resulting from horse riding, never saw a doctor for it, simply put some dettol and a bandaid on it and took a disprin for the feverish feeling that accompanied it. Then, in 2012, I had a horrendous 10 months outbreak. In my armpits, on my buttocks and thighs, in my groin, many at a time. At one point I had 7 weeping sores on my labia majora. In addition to four in my armpits. I called my rheumatologist in tears. (Following a particularly stressful time around the 2008 recession, I became gravely ill and was diagnosed with lupus in late 2009, still take prednisone and plaquenil to keep arthritis and auto immune hepatitis in check. Now fully able and functioning again.) The receptionist did not even put me through to the dr but advised me high handedly to go see a gynie.

The boils were sore, weeping, smelly, and the developing ones excruciatingly painful. I felt embarrased, dirty, unworthy, an outcast, marked as evil and filthy, punished by the Plague of Boils, alone in the world. When the outbreak started I received IV antibiotics for two on my legs (I was tested positive for MRS) but the antobiotics almost killed me, almost had liver failure. Following the call to the rheumatologist, I realised I was on my own. Doctors just seemed to not to want to hear about it, maybe it is more hands-on and dirty and in-your-face than people in "polite society" can stomach? I felt so terribly, desperately alone. Not the kind of complaint you can share with family and friends.

Thank you for the website! I started taking ACV and home made turmeric pills, and also saw a chinese doctor who treated me with chinese herbs (taste like cow*** in water) and tai chi massage & acupucture. He also treated me for the liver problem that followed the antibiotics - with huge success. (Continuing treatments with him for my lupus has enabled me to cut my prednisone medication to 2.5mg. Very professional, very holistic - he gave me a lot of tender and compassionate counselling about diet, regular habits, self care, self love. ) All these helped, but what in my opinion made the conclusive difference was washing out & soaking the developing and weeping boils with pure ACV six times a day, then covering them with cotton wool soaked in ACV and a band aid. It hurt like hell on the open ones, but it cured them much faster, and many of the developing ones simply went away, leaving a black mark under the skin that fades with time. I now wipe down my boil prone areas - armpits, private parts and groin, buttocks and thighs, every 2 days with ACV before going to bed. Also, I eat 2 apples a day and make sure to drink lots of water, as I think that daily and spontaneous bowel movement also helps eliminate toxins from the body. (The stuff coming our of the boils certainly looked and smelled more toxic than nuclear waste...! )My field is physics & engineering, so I don't understand the magic of why this worked, but for me it did. I do get small little pimple like things on my buttocks still, but they are painless, and go away without any drama. I eat as organically and unrefined as I can and use no alcohol or tobacco, avoid medication as much as possible, try to keep my body pH in a healthy alkaline range. I want to say to all the people out there who suffer from this problem, I know how you feel, my heart goes out to you, don't lose hope & faith, I pray for your recovery.

You are NOT despicable or unworthy or any of those nasty words, you did not bring it upon your own head, you simply developed a serious health problem, give yourself the best care possible, do not blame or punish yourself for it, love yourself, I love you, and I'm sending you hugs and good vibrations. Cheers, mates!

Replied by Nicola

Sorry to hear your misfortune as I know how painful this is as I watch my 15 year old daughter in agony. Can I ask, are you diluting the tea tree oil and just putting on affected area and is there a specific shop you buy it from? Thanks, nicola