A person hiding underneath a large floppy hat

Please Don’t Be Ashamed Of Your Body

Summer is officially here! Woo hoo for no school and longer days, but summer also means more heat and less clothes. It means changing out the jeans, sweatpants, and leggings in your closet for shorts and capris pants. Swapping the hoodies and long sleeves for short sleeves and tank tops.

Bathing suits and shorts and tank tops, oh my!

Now, now, during the summer you may be like me and try to always fully blast the air conditioning so you have to wear hoodies and sweatpants or else you’ll get hypothermia, but sometimes there are occasions that you might actually have to leave the house for… and be outside in the heat… with no air conditioning or fans… GAH! The horror!

But in all seriousness, summer can be a really stressful time for people with hidradenitis suppurativa. HS comes in the most awful spots and not only is it not the most pleasant to physically endure, but it also might leave scars and marks behind once a flare is over. Two of the most HS prone spots are the armpits and the groin, aka two spots that are usually more visible in summertime apparel. Not only may you have marks and scars and flares in these areas, but HS may also hinder your ability to shave these parts.

It is okay to let your scars show!

But really I can’t stress this enough and I’m going to shout it out loud for the people in the back... It is 100% okay to wear summertime clothing if you have scars, marks, boils, flares, and body hair. *Michelle Tanner voice* I mean it, mister!

You have an uncontrollable disease. You were born with this disease. This disease is not your fault. This disease does not make you any less of a person.

Your scars and marks are your history. Each and every one of them. Each scar is the story of the horrible situation you had to endure. It shows how strong you are. It shows how far you’ve come. It shows that even though you have an uncontrollable autoimmune disease, you are a fighter. Those marks or boils might make you feel bad about yourself and might make your self-esteem lower, but please remember that what your head is telling you isn’t true. Those markings don’t make you any less beautiful. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you for having them on your body. Honestly, if anything, they make you a stronger person for having them.

Having HS is hard

Having body hair can be hard, but having an autoimmune disease is harder. Don’t potentially make your HS worse by shaving, just because you’re worried about what people will think and say.

If anyone were to say something negative about the markings or body hair, simply educate them on HS. Make them know that you have this awful disease.

HS isn’t rare, it’s just rarely spoken about. We need to do a lot better to make it known. Make people know what you have to live with on a daily basis. Make them know you have an uncontrollable disease and you are just trying to live your best life to the fullest. You deserve to have just as much fun during the summer as anyone else and you shouldn’t hide because of what this disease has done to your body. Don’t be afraid to share what you’re going through.

You are living with something that is not your fault

Don’t ever forget that the people that matter don’t mind and the people that mind don’t matter. I thought that was a Dr. Seuss quote but online says he never actually said that. I don’t know who said it first, but live by those words.

You are strong. You are beautiful. You are living with something that isn’t your fault. The people that matter don’t mind, and the people that mind don’t matter.

Now go put on that bathing suit and have a great summer!

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