NOTE* This is an older list, posted by the wonderfully knowledgable Carmen. But she has not been active here for quite awhile, and some of the list is outdated in some aspects. Much has occurred since in the treatment of HS. Please don't try any/all of these without talking to your dr., doing your own research and/or getting feedback from the members of the group. Also ask your Dr. to make sure it doesn't interact with any treatment you are currently undergoing. Thanks for your patience! Karen/Oregonnative
An extensive list of remedies for HS, collected from dozens of HS sufferers everywhere. This is by no means a full and complete list of treatments or ideas. The purpose of this list is to bring together the knowledge from sufferers everywhere to be utilized by newly-diagnosed sufferers looking for options. Please employ these ideas at your own risk. None have been proven to “cure” HS, but many have eased the symptoms and occurrences of HS.
HS – Pain Relief & Healing Remedies
A. Hot baths with any of the following:
1. Epsom salts or sea salts
2. Tea Tree Oil (this has worked the best for many HS patients, though be sure to use the 100%, straight when not in flare, and slightly diluted with water (one post said they use vinegar) just add to a wet cotton ball. Easily found in most Discount stores and not too expensive. The 30% is mixed with something else and seems to cause a bad skin reaction for many.
3. Other Essential Oils
4. Peroxide and/or vinegar/*peroxide can damage skin tissue if used full strength
5. Baking Soda
6. Chlorine (as in swimming pools or whirlpools – helps dry things up)
7. Aveeno oatmeal bath
8. Olive Oil
B. Apply any of these directly to the wound:
1. Small amount of tea tree oil or lavender oil
2. Rubbing alcohol
3. Epsom salt compress
4. Hot compress (slightly damp)
Â· Can also use heating pads, or heating pads over moist towels
5. Ice pack or cold compress (to reduce swelling and pain)
6. Witch Hazel
7. Hydrogen Peroxide* Can damage skin if used full strength.
8. Royal Jelly capsules – poke with a pin and squirt onto the wound
9. Burt's Bees hand salve and Rescue ointment (contains comfrey)
Â· Comfrey cannot be used on open wounds!!!! Do not use near eyes or ingest!!!!
10. Smile's Pride (for new or open draining HS, helps with pain and drawing actions. Can find online or pharmacy)
11. Non- or Low-greasy diaper rash crÃ¨me
12. Mary Kay blemish control toner (5% sylicid acid) 2x/day; Mary Kay acne treatment crÃ¨me (5% benzol peroxide) 2x/day
13. Manuka Honey
14. Magnesium Sulphate
15. Gold Bond Powder/*caution, powder can clog pores even worse.
16. Boil Ease
17. Ichthammol Ointment
18. Aztec Green Clay (from drugstore. Mix with apple cider vinegar or water. Use overnight.)
20. A and D ointment
21. Cornstarch and water paste
22. Neutrogena Acne Mask
23. Tahitian Noni skin supplement
24. Carrasyn Spray Gel Wound Dressing
25. Petroleum Jelly (yes, plain old)
26. Vicks vapor rub (comfrey & eucalyptus oil)
27. Preparation H (seems to shrink & pop them, also helps with itching)
28. Bag Balm (petroleum jelly + antiseptic)
29. Elicina CrÃ¨me (snail slime)
30. Ozonated olive oil
32. Peeling Mask
36. Baking soda
37. Zap (lidocaine, benzocaine, tetracain, etc. for pain relief)
39. Aloe Vera (with lidocaine – sunburn gel): Aloe speeds healing, contains antibacterial properties including fighting against fungus and staph, has natural anti-inflammatory agents which also reduce pain, may reverse scars less than five years old.
40. Dombro Astringent
To help drain deep sinus tracts or bring a sub-surface lesion to a head. Mix one packet of Dombro to about one quart of warm water (hot if you can take it). Soak a small hand towel in the solution and use it as a compress. Work the lesion or sinus tract by squeezing it with the warm towel. Once a lesion or tract is drained, pain is reduced.*Do not squeeze a lesion hard or at all if it isn't draining easily.
C. Keep area clean
1. Baby wipes to clean area (also good for travel)
3. Antibiotic soaps – Carex, Dial, Physohex, Dove sensitive skin, Lever 2000 antibacterial, Head & Shoulders Shampoo (use as soap), PhisoDerm, SpectoGram, Hibiclens, Betadine, Neutrogena, Ivory, Tea Tree Oil Soap
(generically known as povidone-iodine 10%). Keep a surgical irrigator with a 50/50 solution of sterile water and Betadine in the shower. A surgical irrigator looks like a plastic turkey baster in a plastic bottle. Wash your areas with the solution by gently flushing them out with the irrigator. Don't shoot the solution deep into a sinus tract. Then mix the Betadine solution with a mild soap on a wash cloth and wash the whole area.
This solution soothes irritated, sore skin and kills the bacteria that cause normal body odor along with the odor from an infection. It works as a good alternative to deodorant.
D. Keep area dry
1. Fans, ice water in the heat to reduce sweat
2. Beware of alcohol intake as this can warm up the body
3. Choose your deodorant carefully. Suggested deodorants:
Â· Crystal roll-on
Â· Any natural tea tree oil deoderant
E.**IMPORTANT** Do NOT self-lance! This can cause secondary infection, cellulitus, and other problems.
F. Use mini-pads or gauze to lightly cover wounds or catch drainage. Surgical tape, paper tape, etc. Some mini-pads will have a sticky backing and will stick to clothes to hold in place.
1. Duoderm sheets for draining lesions
2. Staphage-Lysate (SPL) bandage from Delmont labs (not available on the market)
3. 3M makes paper tape that seems to be less of an irritation to the skin
4. For a day-to-day basis, keep around gauze pads, paper tape, saline solution, acetic acid
G. Anti-inflammatories seem to help – best are Ibuprofen and Aleve, though Advil/Tylenol will also help kill the pain.
H. Alcohol to numb the senses to the pain (Vodka is the favorite of the group!)
I. Wear loose-fitting clothing or no clothing as much as possible
J. Tanning Beds seem to shrink the bumps *check with your dr. first.
1. Similar results can be found with UV light treatment – buy a tanning bulb and stand in front of it for 10-20 mins a day
2. Also similar is exposing skin to the sun for short periods
K. Ingested Remedies:
2. Elderberry Extract
3. Mineral Oil
4. Essiac Tea
5. Manuka Honey
7. Aloe vera – can be mixed with juices (suggested: mix 1 tbsp with juice twice a day, preferably before meals). Also can be bought in juice form at health food stores.
L. Other (I'm not sure what these are or how they are used)
1. Bovine Colustrum
5. Metragel (metronidazole hydrochloride)
6. Nizoral cream
M. Make sure to get enough rest so your body can heal properly!
1. Be careful not to irritate the skin even more
2. The "volcano treatment": it involves bandaging - air-tight - a lesion for 24 hours/day. One suggested that it'll always burst within 3-4 days, but others have had it always within 48 hours. Other school of thought is that areas should be open to the air to stay dry and not kept covered other than lightly when needing to keep clothing from being stained when at work etc. At home loose fitting clothes or shifts are better.
HS – Itching Relief
A. Avoid scratching at all costs. The skin trauma may only make the wounds worse.
B. Wash the area thoroughly with an antibacterial soap, then use a damp rag on the area.
C. Try 2 Benadryl 25mg pills
D. The area may be very dry, so consider using an unscented cream or lotion
E. Gold Bond Medicated Triple Antibiotic Plus Pain Relieving ointment, Neosporin, or Burt's Bees Res-Q ointment
F. Consider asking the derm to be tested for excema.
G. Another theory is that the itching may be coming from inflammation deep under the skin. If this is true, using ice on the area may help to reduce the inflammation, and taking an inflammatory like Motrin, Advil, or Aspirin.
H. Itchiness may also be a sign of diabetes and insulin resistance. Make sure you have these checked out.
HS – Stress Relief- These are for life in general which make everything better, or at least more eaisily tolerated
A. Hot baths with stress-reducing salts or oils, candles
B. Herbal teas
D. Getting enough sleep
F. Relaxing music
G. Avoid caffeine & sugar (nervousness, highs & lows)
H. Read something inspiriational
I. Get a professional massage (helps you relax plus it removes toxins and re-balances your body)
J. Positive affirmations:
1. “I am prosperous”
2. "I am worthy
3. “I love myself the way I am”
K. Accupuncture (also helps digestion)
L. Say “No”!
M. Set aside time to not do anything, and make sure you keep this appointment.
N. Get help with your everyday tasks. Your family or friends would be happy to pitch in with paying bills, dishes, laundry, etc.
R. Switch jobs if you don't enjoy it or if it is too stressful
HS – Scar Therapy
A. Flaxseed Oil (fresh)
B. Vitamin E (cream or capsule form)
C. Vitamin D
D. Comfrey salve
E. Aloe Vera (speeds healing)
HS – Homeopathic/Natural Healing - More general life improving tips.
1. Cleanse your liver:
A. The following herbs can be taken in pill or droplet form:
Â· Burdock root
Â· Milk Thistle
Â· Slippery Elm
2. Get to sleep by 11:00 as your liver detoxes between 11 pm and 2 a.m.
3. B. Get enough vitamins:
1. Take a multivitamin that gives you high doses of everything.
2. Make sure you get enough zinc (100 mg/day)
3. Take extra Vitamin C for immune system
C. Keep your body clean:
1. Use natural products in the shower, like organic/natural shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc.
Â· Use a natural deodorant. Many will contain tea tree oil, calendula, or other good things
Â· Tea tree coated bandaids (or alcohol and comfrey coated) can be purchased
2. Remove the following foods from your diet:
Â· Red meat (contains antibiotics and hormones, as well as clogs arteries. Replace this protein with nuts, eggs, cheeses (not cow), fish, soy)
Â· Dairy (not designed for humans, contains antibiotics and hormones, blood and pus; many people are allergic to cow's milk. Replace dairy with goat, rice, sheep, almond, soy milk & cheese)
Â· White Flour (No nutritional value. Replace with whole grains & brown rice)
Â· Refined Sugars (stripped of all nutrients and only empty calories are left. Replace with organic sugar, Sugar in the Raw, Real Maple Syrup, Honey, Evaporated Cane Juice, Brown Rice Syrup, Blackstrap Molasses, Barley Malt, Stevia, Date Sugar)
Â· Hydrogenated Oils (Man-made and almost plastic. Replace with olive, sunflower, flax, safflower, peanut, and soy oil; butter instead of margarine, natural peanut butter, and vegetarian shortening.)
3. Avoid coffee, juice, & soda drinks which contain sugar
4. Avoid food that contains MSG
5. Consider doing a 7-day detox period where you only eat fruits and vegetables, as much raw as possible.
6. Drink plenty of water, at least the minimum 4 -8oz. glasses/day unless in the heat or doing strenous work. Then drink as soon as you feel thirsty.
7. Avoid foods/drinks with artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, antibiotics, hormones, etc. Replace with natural or organic products.
8. Use an air purifier in your home (suggested: HEPA)
1. 20-30 minutes 3-4 times per week
2. Helps your body function better, lose weight, and builds your heart strength and immune system
3. Sweat flushes toxins from your system (although it also has a tendency to trigger flare-ups)
4. Endorphins produced by exercise help you feel better mentally and help you sleep better.
E. Consider the Insulin Resistance Diet (you can order the book through Borders or any bookstore)
F. If you smoke, consider quitting. It seems that smoking slows bodily healing and may be a flare-up trigger for some people.
G. Chinese medicine has helped some.
H. Chromium Piccolinate is supposed to help your body better digest foods and balance insulin and sugar levels
1. Yeast Fighters supplements,
J.**Limit your exposure to Staph bacteria. It is said that HS sufferers seem to be more sensitive to the different types of Staph, so be sure to limit your exposure to this bacteria, including keeping your surroundings clean.
Please take care when treating any open lesions to check with your dr. first when using any of the on-skin treatments.
Post edited by: oregonnative, at: 07/18/2011 08:22 AM
Post edited by: oregonnative, at: 08/18/2011 05:25 PM
Post edited by: oregonnative, at: 08/21/2011 07:06 AM
It's no problem & again, we are so pleased you found us! <3 Candace
08/19/2011 10:27 PM
Posts: 19 Member
i am pleased i had no idea i could go see a dermatologist and now my doctor is finding one for me and making an appointment im so excited just to see if maybe they know more information and even if they dont maybe they would be willing to research it with me. never know im just happy that i will have a chance to have other people try and help me. people who study skin and what not.
08/22/2011 11:39 AM
Posts: 1476 Group Leader
Please let us know when you go to the derma. I am interested in hearing what treatment methods they will try with you. I was being administered corti-costeriod injection shots for 22 months consecutively before they started losing their effectiveness & I stopped with them all together. My derma tried to push Accutane several times & I refused it each & everytime. Make sure you do your research on whatever treatment method they choose. Just because they "think" it might help you, does not always mean that it will. <3 Candace
08/22/2011 02:14 PM
Posts: 19 Member
i will for sure let everyone know when i go. first i need to wait and see when the appointment is thats the only thing here is it takes soo long to get in. but im hoping its worth it. and believe me ill be doing lots of research and possibly see what you guys would have to say about some of it to cause you never know you or some other member may have tried it and know a little about the type of treatment they may give me.
08/23/2011 10:36 AM
Posts: 5777 Group Leader
Just one thing to remember, if you have infected lesions that get big like an abcess, which it actually usually is, is that lancing is only a temporary fix for the pressure and pain, and gets some of the gunk out. If it is to that stage and especially if already tunneling (sinus tracts), surgery is likely the only meaningful treatment at this time. That's after trying antibiotics to see if one will help you in particular, and if that doesn't work.
I truly loathe to have to ever say that, but the truth is what we need here, as painful as it is to hear. There is No known cause of HS, and there is No known cure and no common treatment. Hence, removing it through excision if in stage 1 and early stage 2 may be called for. Then in late stage 2 or stage 3, wide excision surgery ONLY by a competent and HS experienced Dermy or Plastic Surgeon if possible, is the only thing known to help. Also, the latest thing being done soon is a new type of laser treatment that has been mentioned at the Ohio HS Institute,??... but that will be limited due to the size of the facility and staff, until proven effective, most likely. Hoping it will be and will then spread across the country so it will be available to those who can't affort to travel that far. Lets hope and pray! Regular laser surgery or treatment has been done for some time with not so good results.
Mind you, this is what I have learned from experience, and by researching medical articles for many years, as well as talking here with members who have so kindly shared their own experiences. Always try to do your own research if you can, and ask the right questions of your dr. of choice. How many cases have you done surgery on? What kind of surgery? What are the results, both short-term and long-term of most of your patients? Recovery rate average for your degree of HS?
Disclaimer: The information provided in MDJunction is not a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.
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