Foods that may lead to hidradenitis suppurativa flare-ups

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Hidradenitis Suppurativa is a chronic skin condition that causes painful and debilitating lesions of the skin. Learning to manage your diet and what foods to avoid can help to reduce the impact the lesions, inflammation and sores have. As well as affecting the symptoms and how severe they are, what you eat might also have an impact on how often the flare-ups happen. A hidradenitis suppurativa diet along with giving up smoking and trying to introduce some form of exercise, getting enough sleep and stress relief are all key too.

Key food groups to avoid

Foods that may cause hidradenitis suppurativa symptoms to be worse and more flare-ups.

Brewer’s yeast

A small study in people with HS showed that eliminating brewer’s yeast from the diet, reduced HS symptoms.  Brewer’s yeast is in more than just beer so you will need to check the labels of things to cut it out of your hidradenitis suppurativa diet

Some common foods that can contain brewer’s yeast include soy sauces, salad dressings, vinegars, cakes, pizzas, canned and dried soups, beer, wine, stock cubes, gravies, dips, fermented spreads, bread, even some supplements.

Dairy foods

Dairy products are known to cause problems with inflammation in some people. Eliminating dairy products could then be a great step towards creating a better hidradenitis suppurativa diet.

Some common foods that fall under dairy include cream cheese, cottage cheese and regular cheese, cow’s milk, butter, buttermilk, yogurt, ice-cream, and of course foods that contain those ingredients like pizzas, cakes, sauces, and so on.


Some people with HS have found that eliminating nightshades from their hidradenitis suppurativa diet has been useful in managing their condition. Nightshades are a group of edible plants and some suggest cutting them out is good for people with HS and people with autoimmune diseases.

Some common foods that are in the nightshades plant family include eggplant, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, paprika, spice blends that contain pepper or chili or paprika, chili powder and tomatillos.

Refined sugars and carbohydrate

Finally, our last main group of foods to be limited or removed are refined foods and added sugars and refined carbohydrates. They cause inflammation and are not good for maintaining a healthy blood glucose level. 

Some common foods that include refined carbohydrates are white sugar, corn syrup, white flour, white bread, white pasta, sugary soda, fruit juice, white rice, noodles, cookies, cakes, biscuits, donuts, a lot of sugary breakfast cereals, pastries, crackers made from white flour, chips, chocolate and candy.

Making dietary changesThe foods you eat may be causing your symptoms to worsen and may contribute to flare-ups. Try to make lifestyle changes and food changes that can help you live with HS and you will become healthier and feel better in general too.

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