When I had open wounds, home care recommended an absorbent bandage along with a salve to be applied to the wounds. Due to the drainage, it was necessary for me to change my bandages many times throughout the day.

I have heard of people lancing their boils or abscesses on their own, and I would not recommend this as I would be concerned about a greater risk of infection.

Bleach baths twice daily were recommended by a dermatologist, but in my case were of little help.

I would not recommend online remedies. I have tried numerous, and none were of any help to me.

  1. I keep the wound clean!
    I clean my fresh wounds to remove dirt and debris. I do this very gently and often in the shower.
  2. I dress the wound. The dressing chosen by your doctor may depend on the type and severity of your wound.
  3. I make sure to eat properly.

I personally find that synthetic, tight clothing causes my lesions to become more severe. It holds in my body heat and sweat, which agitates my HS. Cotton and other natural materials allow my skin to breathe. Especially when you have lesions and open wounds from the HS, you don’t want to wear tight, restrictive clothing, because even the pressure from that can be painful.

I’ve been lucky enough not to get painful lesions. My advice about exercise is to keep the wound areas clean and dry as much as possible. I find that heat and

sweat cause my HS to become more active. I try to stay away from synthetic materials as well as anything tight that insulates heat.

When I can’t exercise because it is too painful, I believe that watching my diet becomes more of a focal point.

I don’t find that stress particularly has any effect on my HS, but is rather caused by HS. It’s difficult to answer how to best deal with stress because everyone deals with it differently. I like to read or watch movies to escape from my life for a little while when I feel stressed, otherwise I usually just let things roll off my back. There are times of course when the stress and frustration is so great that I break down and cry. I take a few days to let myself be sad and after I’ve gotten those feelings out, I feel much better. If I was talking to someone else with HS, who was having trouble handling stress, I would recommend some form of exercise like yoga, or maybe if they were an artist, I would recommend creating something or painting, or even seeing a therapist. It would really depend on their personality and finding something that made them feel at ease.

Any tip that I have followed was given to me by a physician or specialist. I don’t often trust tips from online forums and would rather listen to the professionals who know my case and have been following it for some time.

HS support groups can help provide great feedback and insight into our condition, especially for those who have just been diagnosed or are having a difficult time dealing with HS in general. Whether you have a question or a comment, or want to see what someone else’s challenges are, we are all going through the same thing and are all like a large family trying to support one another any way that we can! I think that just being in a support group and knowing so many others are there if you need them, can be very helpful. And if you don’t think that you need help, maybe you can be that person who reaches out to the people who do need that extra support. Overall I think that support groups are GREAT!

Stress has been, and always will be, one of my main HS triggers. It impacts my HS immensely, because when you are in pain and covered in sores, you start to wonder about how you’re even going to get out of the house that morning to face the world.  You worry about a sore bursting open or the smell, you worry about what you’re going to wear or if someone will see your sores…. the list goes on and on! For me, some of my coping methods are swimming (the only physical exercise I can do without breaking out) and exercises such as breathing, stretching and meditating. Talking it out with someone if you feel comfortable can sometimes help too.

I unfortunately did have to go on a disability leave a few years back, prior to moving back to my hometown. I was at stage 3 and was in a physically demanding position as a phlebotomist (lab tech). I do want to say that even a sit down job was a challenge at the time, as I tried to take on a part-time position and missed more work than I attended. Those conversations were very hard to have with my employer and something I don’t want to ever have to go through again; it’s degrading and very stressful. It is a huge challenge trying to explain this to anyone, let alone the company you work for.

I was on disability for just over a year and my experience…. well all I can say is that it is a very long process. It took months and months and papers upon papers for me to even get a response from them, which added to the high stress level and in turn made my sores react. When I had absolutely no income coming in and lived by myself, it was a very difficult time to say the least. Once I was finally approved for disability, the income was so low that I could not support myself. If it wasn’t for the help of my family, I would have been homeless. The constant questioning I got from disability services was far too much for me to handle, and after everything I had been through I finally decided to move back to the place where I was born and raised. By the way, when you move to a new province, they just remove your claim like it never existed (it took two minutes), and you have to go through the exact same process again! I was not willing to do that again and wanted to make changes to my life, so I never did re-apply for disability.