Hidradenitis suppurativa and weight

Hidradenitis suppurativa and weight: What is the link?

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Did losing weight help your hidradenitis suppurativa?

HS is an inflammatory condition that is associated with several comorbidities. These include overweight or obesity and metabolic syndrome, a condition in which a person often has increased abdominal fat storage.

Hidradenitis suppurativa and weight: What is the link?

In one study Trusted Source from 2015, researchers found that people with HS typically had higher body fat, a larger waist, a higher body mass index (BMI), and a greater waist-to-hip ratio than those without the condition.

In this article, we look in more detail at the connection between HS and weight and explain whether weight loss can help reduce symptoms.

The connection between weight and HS

One of the most prominent symptoms of HS is cyst-like bumps, nodules, or abscesses on or near areas where the skin folds rub together.

Over time, a person may notice that these areas:

  • last a long time
  • become painful
  • get bigger
  • leak or ooze foul-smelling liquid or pus
  • connect to other nodules through tunnels in the skin
  • disappear and then reappear in the same location
  • scar after they heal

Factors that can trigger an HS flare or worsen HS symptoms include:

  • friction
  • larger areas of skin folds or other areas of skin-to-skin contact
  • skin areas where there is increased moisture and temperature

Larger areas of skin folds can cause friction, which can injure the skin and rupture hair follicles. The areas where friction and injury are more likely to occur are generally warmer and have more moisture than other areas. These factors can make them conducive to microbial growth.

Additionally, research suggests that people with overweight or obesity have higher levels Trusted Source of inflammation.

Will losing weight help HS symptoms?

Some research suggests that losing weight can help improve HS symptoms.

A study Trusted Source of 383 people with obesity and HS who underwent bariatric surgery showed that weight loss could reduce the prevalence and severity of symptoms.

Among those who had lost weight, the number of individuals reporting HS symptoms decreased by 35%. The study also showed that there were fewer areas of boils and skin lesions in the group of people who lost weight. In addition, those who lost 15% or more of their body weight got the most relief from their HS symptoms.

Researchers believe that weight loss reduces HS symptoms because it decreases:

  • friction
  • microbial colonization
  • inflammation

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