Staying active with hidradenitis suppurativa
Staying active with hidradenitis suppurativa can help you manage this chronic condition.
A lack of exercise can lead to weight gain. This can cause discomfort by increasing friction in between skin folds, where the lumps that characterize hidradenitis suppurativa often grow. Physical activity might ease both depression and anxiety commonly caused by the condition, too.
But moving, as well as sweating and chafing caused by physical activity, can sometimes be painful and irritate skin lesions. To stay active and avoid aggravating your skin, consider these tips.
Choose your workout clothing carefully
Exercising in certain clothes can contribute to skin irritation. To avoid this:
- Wear loose, ventilated clothing. This will help reduce sweating and friction.
- Opt for gear made out of cotton, a breathable fabric.
- Take frequent breaks. Even with the right workout gear, skin irritation due to chafing still can occur if you exercise for long periods of time.
Pick the right activity
When choosing an activity, consider:
- How much will it make you sweat? Add activities to your routine that cause you to sweat less, such as walking or yoga.
- What do you enjoy? You are more likely to keep up your fitness routine if you find it fun.
Keep sweat in check
To keep your body cool and dry during and after physical activity:
- When possible, exercise in cool temperatures, in a cool room or near a fan.
- Drink water. Staying hydrated can help keep your body cool.
- Take a shower after your workout. Use lukewarm water and keep your shower short. Consider a mild soap or soap-free cleanser for washing your body. If odor is a concern, use a cleanser with an antibacterial agent. Gently pat your skin dry.
If you're having trouble keeping active because of your hidradenitis suppurativa, talk to your doctor. He or she might be able to help you better manage your symptoms or discomfort.
Dec. 29, 2018
See more In-depth
- Wang SC, et al. Hidradenitis suppurativa: A frequently missed diagnosis, part 1. Advances in Skin & Wound Care. 2015;28:325.
- Margesson LF, et al. Pathogenesis, clinical features, and diagnosis of hidradenitis suppurativa (acne inversa). http://www.uptodate.com/home/. Accessed Jan. 7, 2016.
- The physical side. The Hidrentitis Suppurativa Trust. https://www.hstrust.org/leaflets. Accessed Jan. 8, 2016.
- The emotional side: Fighting for people affected by hidradenitis suppurativa. The Hidradenitis Suppurativa Trust. https://www.hstrust.org/leaflets. Accessed Jan. 8, 2016.