Diet and Lifestyle

General advice is to eat a balanced, nutritious diet in order to maintain health and vitality and, if appropriate, control weight.

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Each person living with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) will have different experiences of their condition and, as a result, will be able to participate in different kinds of physical activities. You should speak to a dermatologist if you have any concerns about the kind of activities you do or want to do.

Recommendation for local affiliate: Add a picture of people being active (for example bike riding or gardening)

Lose excess weight

Research shows that HS is associated with being overweight and the severity of the disease increases with the degree of obesity.1 If you are overweight, losing some may help improve overall health2 and help avoid the added discomfort of tight clothing.

Stop smoking

Medical research has established a link between HS and smoking;1,2 there is debate as to whether smoking can lead to HS, or if it is HS (and associated conditions like depression and a lack of physical activity) that makes people more likely to smoke. However, quitting smoking may help improve overall health.1

Exercise is a good way to maintain a healthy weight and manage stress.


  1. Kromann C, Deckers IE, Esmann S, et al. Risk factors, clinical course and long-term prognosis in hidradenitis suppurativa: a cross-sectional study. Br J Dermatol 2014;171:819–824.
  2. Alikhan A, Lynch PJ, Eisen DB. Hidradenitis suppurativa: a comprehensive review. J Am Acad Dermatol 2009;60:539–561.