If you have hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), it’s likely that the condition’s boil-like bumps sometimes impact how you feel.
For one thing, the disease can be painful. And since the bumps show up in friction-prone areas — like your booty, inner thighs, and underarms and under your breasts — HS can also be a hard hit to your self-esteem.
You should be able to feel sexy and fab AF without giving a second thought to your skin. But that’s easier said than done. We’ve compiled a few tips to help ease your nerves and up your confidence for any event.
Let’s get one thing straight: You deserve to feel hot, and you deserve to go out and show off your hotness! The HS Foundation says many people with the condition “feel they live in hiding.” That’s not good for anyone’s mental health.
Research suggests there’s a positive link between social relationships and self-esteem. Sometimes the best swagger boost is getting the chance to see yourself through the eyes of those who relish being around you. Don’t hide from the world just because of HS.
Selecting your outfit can be half the fun of going out. When you have HS, figuring out what to wear means more than just style, color, or whether something will keep you warm. You want to be comfortable.
Choosing clothing that minimizes friction in areas where you tend to have HS flares can help prevent irritation. This doesn’t mean you have to skip out on wearing the looks you want. Just find chafe-proof skivvies and other top-drawer items to wear underneath.
A 2021 research review suggests seeking out seamless designs in moisture-wicking, heat-releasing fabrics, like those made from cellulose-derived rayon fibers or bamboo.
Avoid unmentionables with wires or tight elastic bands. If you wear a bra, try a brami, which is a cross between a cami and a bra. For undies, consider boy-short or even bike-short styles that cover places where skin meets skin.
It might take some trial and error to find the holy grail of undergarment combos that works well for you and makes you feel sexy to boot. The right selection can help you think less about HS when you’d rather be focusing on getting down to those sick beats.
Taking time to soothe your skin before going out can also increase your comfort level and crank your confidence up a few notches. Feeling good physically can help put HS out of your mind, or at least on the back burner during brunch.
Although evidence for the application of skin oils for the treatment of HS so far has been anecdotal, some people have tried topical cannabidiol (CBD) and found a little relief. A CBD salve might ease HS discomfort while minimizing chafing.
Essential oils like relaxing lavender or uplifting bergamot can do double duty. Sometimes scents can enhance your mood, but these two EOs also help mask odor and fight bacteria. Tea tree oil is also an excellent bacteria banisher.
The best way to use an essential oil is to dilute it with a carrier oil like almond oil or jojoba. Spot test on a small patch of skin before applying it to any sensitive HS areas.
While research suggests there are health benefits, the FDA doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider before you begin using essential oils
If you’re heading out with friends and feeling less than fabulous, it might be helpful to let them know what’s on your mind. The HS Foundation recognizes the importance of venting and talking about the condition. Just getting your feelings out in the open might be enough to tame some uneasiness.
If you’re hiding your feelings, your friends won’t know you need support. Although your condition is a part of you, you are so much more than your condition. And your friends love and adore the whole wonderful you.
HS can sometimes be a confidence killer, but there are small ways to bring your sense of sexy back.
The key is to boost your physical comfort so HS isn’t top of mind when you’re trying to have fun. And remember, you deserve to have a good time and show the world your amazing self.