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Triggers are just as personal as hidradenitis suppurativa is; what triggers one person may not trigger another. While figuring out personal triggers may come easy for some, for others it can be a frustrating part of the HS journey and present a lifelong challenge.

Some of the most common triggers include:


  • Friction (exercise)

  • Fabric choices for clothing

  • Undergarments (bra and/or underwear)

  • Food or beverage 

  • Alcohol

  • Stress

  • Sweat

  • Mechanical stress (sitting a certain way, etc.)


It’s been mentioned in numerous studies that loose fitting cotton clothing is best for those with HS, however, many have found that it actually causes additional flares due to the friction the loose clothing creates. There are many who find that wearing tighter fitting clothing causes less flares as there is not as much friction.  


Situations like this arise for each of the above mentioned triggers. It’s a matter of trial and error for each person to determine their triggers. You’ll often hear people share on social media what works for them, however, it is important to keep in mind that what works for one may not work for another.

HS Connect has done some of the 'heavy lifting' when it comes to helping you identify your triggers!  If you think food or nutrition could be a trigger for you, Jillian with Embrace Health Nutrition is a great place to start. The process of eliminating foods can be difficult and overwhelming.  She's created a tailored HS class that will help you determine if this could be an issue for you. There's a section with some anti-inflammatory recipes for you to try, and we've created a Flare and Lifestyle Journal that you can print out and use here.  

We've also curated a list of product suggestions from HS patients, just like you, who have shared what has worked for them, clothing, undergarments, soap, and a whole lot more!

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