Updated: Jun 30
There are many ways to reduce inflammation and help with pain without the use of antibiotics. Some of these options include the use of cold, natural options, anti-inflammatory foods and more, all of which will be discussed below.
Use of Heat
We all understand the comfort of using heat, however, using dry heat in the form of heating pads or other dry heat is not recommended for HS abscesses as it promotes continuous inflammation. Heat causes inflammation, which equates to pain, especially with inflammatory conditions.
Cold or ice reduces inflammation; less inflammation equates to less pain and better inflammation control.
Continuous hot wet or moist compresses packs are beneficial when an abscess is close to or ready to drain as it makes the top layer of the abscess soft and helps promote draining. You can switch to cold wet compresses or ice packs the goal is to keep the inflammation down as much as possible. Be sure to place a barrier (washcloth, towel, etc.) between your abscess and the ice pack so you do not burn your skin with the ice pack. This can also help avoid the development of cellulitis which can be caused by a skin injury or chronic inflammation.
Please opt for cold compresses for inflammation control, although it may not feel as good on the outside, it does a world of good on the inside breaking the inflammation cycle.
Pharmaceutical options, both over the counter and prescription, can be beneficial for controlling inflammation and pain associated with HS. Please understand that with pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories there may be unpleasant GI side effects, some of which can cause permanent damage, especially if used daily and the long-term.
Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB)
NSAIDs including Naproxen, Aleve, ibuprofen, Motrin, or Advil
Natural anti-inflammation options:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: One teaspoon 2 to 3 times per day or 2 tbsp a day. This is equivalent to an adult dose of ibuprofen
Curcumin (poorly absorbed alone and should be taken with black pepper)
Devil’s claw root
Grapefruit Seed extract (also can act as a natural antibiotic)
Oregano (also can act as a natural antibiotic)
Goldenseal (also can act as a natural antibiotic)
Garlic (also can act as a natural antibiotic)
Honey (can also act as a natural antibiotic)
Echinacea (can also act as a natural antibiotic)
Extra virgin olive oil (can also act as a natural antibiotic)
Berberine (can also act as a natural antibiotic)
The natural antibiotics may be great for help those who suffer from chronic infections. These are not replacements for emergency situations where prescription antibiotic intervention is needed and are not a replacement for medical help.
Tips for taking supplements:
Do not overdo it when it comes to supplements, you do not want to become toxic with any mineral or vitamin.
Ensure you take breaks from the supplements.
If you are getting certain vitamins and minerals from your food and diet you do not need a supplement.
Follow the dosage instructions.
Buy from a reputable manufacturer.
Check with your doctor first if you have a medical condition or take medication before starting supplements.
Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
Nuts like almonds and walnuts
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
Find some anti-inflammatory recipes here.
If you haven’t started cooking with olive oil yet, now’s the time! It’s incomparably rich in oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid. Extra virgin olive oil can greatly help minimize inflammation. Ditch vegetable oil for healthier options like olive, grape seed, coconut oil, and avocado oils.
As always, avoid as much sugar as possible, especially refined sugar. Also avoid or limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine can cause insulin spikes and increased blood sugar which causes inflammation.
This is an awareness article for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider.
Written by Denise Panter-Fixsen
Edited by Brindley Kons