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  • Denise Fixsen

Swimming with HS

This question comes up repeatedly, especially during the summer! In most cases it is safe to swim with HS and we’ve covered some of the most commonly asked questions below. HS can take so much from us, please don’t allow it to take swimming from you!

Product Recommendations

If you're worried about bacteria, wash yourself off after every swim, which can be done with:

  • Water (fresh water, not lake or ocean)

  • Wet wipes

  • No rinse body wash

You can also use waterproof skin barrier wipes or waterproof bandaids before each swim, which are safe to put on HS abscesses and areas. (Although we don’t recommend the use of bandaids for HS abscesses for general wound care, for this purpose waterproof bandaids are recommended).

Concerns About Water

If you're concerned with the water you are swimming in, you can check with the governing body for parks and recreation where you live to see if there is any contamination; this is public information which may be possible to find online as well.

Some with HS find that chlorine is beneficial and helps dry up abscesses, not to mention the therapeutic benefits of being in the water.

Hot tubs and pools can provide an environment for bacteria to grow. There is a difference between swimming in a residential pool and a public pool; most public pools closely monitor their chemicals. If you are unsure of the maintenance or water quality, we’d recommend not entering the pool or hot tub. The advice above is still applicable to swimming pools and hot tubs (other than checking with authorities).

Additional Benefits of Water/Swimming

Even if you choose not to swim, please don’t forgo the benefits of being by the water, whether it is an ocean, lake, pond, or by a pool. Being in the presence of water can be very soothing and a stress reliever. Being in the sun and by the water is doubly as good given our need for vitamin D, but please don’t forget the sunscreen!

Content in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking treatment because of something you have read on this website.

Written by Denise Panter-Fixsen

Edited by Brindley Kons Brooks


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