person wrapped in gauze like a mummy

Wound Care Hacks Every HS Patient Should Know

Wound care is central to the healing of Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS). If wounds are not cared for properly, it leaves room for bacteria growth and possible infection. While every patient's wound care needs will be different, below are some of the hacks I've used to not only manage HS but save money too.

Buying gauze in bulk

Buying gauze in bulk from Amazon is one of my favorite hacks that I learned from my dermatologist following my first HS surgery. It saved my family sooooo much money over the course of my healing and I never looked back. As some of you may or may not know, a 20 pack of gauze can cost upwards of $5 or more a box. On Amazon a two-pack of  4" x 4" 12-Ply 200 count gauze is $17.87. You do the math. I use gauze on the majority of my wounds with or without tape––depending on the area. There are times the 3M tape irritates my skin after prolonged usage, so sometimes I take a break and wear men's underwear to help hold the gauze in place. If you have wounds under your arms, the HidraWear harness might help keep bandages in place without the irritation of tape adhesive.

Applying ointment

Manuka honey has been one of my favorite hacks to soothing HS inflammation and moisturizing healing wounds. While I get my salve from The Mama Au, there are other companies who also produce manuka honey to heal deep and chronic wounds such as First Honey Manuka and Manuka Aid. Manuka Aid also sells patches for the breasts and other areas. The manuka honey salve tends to soothe inflamed skin and it can also help bring boils to a head.

Seeing an HS specialist regularly

One of the biggest disparities faced in the HS community is access to HS specialists. Unfortunately, patients are left in the hands of doctors who are just as knowledgeable as patients or less. Thankfully, organizations like the HS Foundation have compiled a list of HS clinics from across the country patients can refer to. Other resources patients can tap into are Hope For HS and HS Connect. Having access to a specialist can sometimes mean the difference between improved or declining health.

Eating anti-inflammatory foods

As cliche as it might sound, eating anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric, ginger, garlic (for those without IBS), aloe vera, greens, and low glycemic fruit can go a long way in healing our skin. While it is not the be-all-end-all, adding more fibrous foods to your diet can aid in healing your gut which has a direct link to your skin. Eliminating dairy, brewer's yeast, and excessive amounts of red meat can set your body on a course towards healing. This won't be every patient's experience because everyone's body is different, but for those that do see progress, don't stop. For those who don't see progress, where at first you don't succeed, try, try again, and don't give up hope.

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