Pain Management Techniques for Hidradenitis Suppurativa

One of the most burdensome aspects of living with Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is the chronic pain that often accompanies this inflammatory skin condition. Pain management is a crucial component of HS treatment, as uncontrolled pain can profoundly impact the individual’s quality of life, mental well-being, and overall functioning. For this reason, the Canadian Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives and management of HS patients by raising awareness, educating healthcare professionals, and providing resources on effective pain management strategies.

In this article, we will explore a range of methods to help individuals better manage the pain associated with Hidradenitis Suppurativa. With guidance from the Canadian Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation’s eBook, we will delve into medical and non-medical pain management techniques, including appropriate medications, physical and psychological pain-relief strategies, and lifestyle changes. We will also address the importance of patient-provider communication, as well as the significance of customized, comprehensive care plans tailored to each individual’s unique needs.

By incorporating evidence-based pain management strategies and utilizing the resources provided by the Canadian Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation, HS patients can gain better control over their pain and improve their overall quality of life. Empowered with knowledge and support, individuals living with HS can learn to navigate the challenges of chronic pain, enhance their well-being, and find relief from the discomfort that this condition often brings.

hidradénite suppurée

Medical Pain Management Techniques for HS

  1. Overview:

A variety of medications, including analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and immunosuppressants, may be prescribed to help alleviate pain and control inflammation in individuals with HS.

  1. Examples and Potential Benefits:

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): These over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.

– Corticosteroids: These prescription medications may be taken orally or given as injectable treatments to suppress inflammation and alleviate pain in more severe cases.

– Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) and Immunomodulators: These medications, such as methotrexate, adalimumab, or infliximab, may help reduce skin inflammation and manage pain in individuals with moderate to severe HS.

Non-Medical Pain Management Techniques for HS

  1. Overview:

Non-medical pain management techniques, such as heat therapy, physical therapy, and psychological interventions, can help individuals with HS manage pain and enhance overall well-being.

  1. Examples and Potential Benefits:

– Heat Therapy: Warm compresses or hot baths can provide relief from pain and discomfort by promoting blood flow and relaxing the muscles.

– Physical Activity: Engaging in gentle, low-impact exercise can help alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and improve overall well-being.

– Psychological Strategies: Relaxation techniques, cognitive-behavioural therapy, mindfulness, and meditation can help HS patients develop coping strategies for managing pain and reducing stress.

Lifestyle and Dietary Changes for Pain Management

  1. Overview:

Implementing specific lifestyle and dietary changes may prove beneficial in managing chronic pain in individuals with HS.

  1. Strategies and Potential Benefits:

– Weight Management: Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the severity of HS symptoms and alleviate pain, as excess weight can intensify inflammation and skin friction.

– Smoking Cessation: Quitting smoking has numerous health benefits, including improved wound healing and reduced inflammation, which may contribute to better pain management for individuals with HS.

– Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help reduce inflammation and promote overall health for HS patients.

hs skin condition

The Role of Patient-Provider Communication and Customized Care Plans

  1. Overview:

Open communication with healthcare providers and the development of individualized care plans are essential for effective pain management in individuals with HS.

  1. Strategies and Potential Benefits:

– Communicate Openly: Discuss your pain, concerns, and treatment goals with your healthcare team to establish a comprehensive and individualized care plan.

– Be Proactive: Actively engage with your healthcare team, monitor your HS symptoms, and promptly report changes or worsening pain to ensure that your treatment plan remains effective.

– Provide Feedback: Share your experiences and insights regarding the effectiveness of various pain management strategies, helping your healthcare team adjust your care plan as needed.


Effective pain management is crucial for individuals living with Hidradenitis Suppurativa to improve their quality of life and overall well-being. By exploring a variety of medical and non-medical pain management techniques, implementing lifestyle and dietary changes, and fostering open communication with healthcare providers, HS patients can take control of their pain and mitigate the impact of this challenging condition. The Canadian Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation is a valuable resource for evidence-based guidance, support, and information, enabling individuals with HS to manage their pain through informed decision-making and customized care plans.

Take a proactive approach to managing your pain by incorporating the various techniques discussed in this article and consulting with your healthcare team to tailor your approach to your specific needs. Reach out to the Canadian Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation for resources, support, and community connections to help you navigate your pain management journey and live a more comfortable, fulfilling life. Learn more about managing hidradenitis suppurativa with our support.