Living with Hidradenitis Suppurativa can be a waking nightmare. While I lived with it constantly for 20 years and never found a topical skincare routine or treatment that was the answer, I have put it in remission with diet and lifestyle. You can read about that on the blog, I have two posts that cover it, “How AIP Changed My Life” and “My Healing and Weightloss Journey”.
Table of Contents
Life After Remission
I don’t like to say “I healed hidradenitis suppurativa” because technically there is no cure, but remission means that I no longer have symptoms, or have symptoms less than 10% of the time. Now that I am in remission, as long as I don’t ingest my trigger foods, I also support my scarred and sensitive skin in other ways. I also use these tools to calm down a small flare if it doe come up (which is rare). I recorded this video to go into detail about what products I use on my skin and what I do to avoid irritation, as well as showing you what my skin looks like now and how I am planning to cover my scars.
Hidradentitis Suppurativa Scar Cover Up
Here is the transcript of the video above if you prefer to read instead of watch. I’ve linked all the products mentioned below!
Speaker 1: (00:02)
Hi everyone. I’m Cristina Curp, founder of the Castaway Kitchen. And today I’m going to talk to you guys about my autoimmune auto-inflammatory skin condition. I’ve done several videos about this. It’s the reason I started this whole block. It’s the reason that I became a nutritional therapy practitioner, wrote my cookbooks, and changed my life. Hidradenitis suppurativa yes, it’s a mouthful HS for short. Um, I’ve talked at length about, um, my journey to put my skin condition in remission, through diet and lifestyle. I lived with it for 20 years and it was something that I saw several doctors about and no one ever really helped me. It was just a lot of steroids and antibiotics and things were getting worse. And so again, I just finally at my wit’s end, looked at food at my diet and what I was eating, um, to heal. And again, I wrote about that on my blog and shared a lot, and that’s why I share the kind of recipes I share.
Speaker 1: (00:58)
They’re all very clean. I nightshade and gluten-free, um, because I always would try to help people who are trying to also heal their body from chronic illness through, with food, do the same thing. So beyond that again, if you want more resources for that, and let me know in the comments, I have a ton of stuff on my website, but today we were talking specifically about what I have done for topical care. And this is kind of specific, and I haven’t talked about this before, because again, I think everybody’s, you know, everyone’s different and skin reacts differently to people. I had stage one under my arms, stage two under my breasts, and like stage three on my inner thighs kind of growing area with HS and the big, the biggest, obviously stage three is like where it’s my skin is the most sensitive and probably where I’ve done the most like skincare type stuff.
Speaker 1: (01:52)
So the request for this video came about when I shared on Instagram that I am starting to, because I’ve been in remission for a while now I am starting to tattoo over my scars. As you can see here, I have this tattoo, which I did. There was a big scar right here in the middle of the flower, and then up here in this dark area in the leaves. Um, and then of course I had, there was nothing here. I just didn’t want the focus to be right here. I might actually add additional like leaves and stuff coming up. But anyway, this was one of the first, this is my first scar cover of tattoo. It went really well, as you can see, like, I still like, this is just razor rash. Like, I don’t know if it’s part of having HS, but shaving tends to be like an aggravator in a lot of ways.
Speaker 1: (02:32)
And I don’t normally, um, I shaved very quickly without like water and soap the other day, which was stupid, but that’s why I have a little red dots, but I don’t really flare into my arms. Even if I get a little bit irritated. I don’t flare anymore. Under my arms. It’s been many years, which is why I started with a tattoos here. But I do have tattoos that I’m doing scar cover-ups on my inner thighs, which are definitely, um, definitely the scarring is a lot more extensive, like a lot. Um, and the area there on my inner thighs I do, if I shave like on that like area, like where I, where my thighs rub, I will get ingrown hairs and it can often like, and even if it doesn’t escalate to like a full IHS, like boil, it’s still very painful and they last long and they scar.
Speaker 1: (03:20)
So I’m very wary of that area. So in preparation for getting tattoos there, I’ve wanted to make that skin as healthy as possible because of my scars there, I have a lot, I had a lot of, um, tunneling and stuff like that. So sometimes it there’s, there’s a lot of texture in the scars and because of there’s these little like pockets that are like now empty, so they consistently kind of fill, you know, with whatever lint, dirt, and I don’t know, I talked to my dermatologist about it. She’s like, there’s nothing you can really do. You’re just going to always have these little like black kids that show up there. Um, and just, you know, exfoliate, which I do. Um, um, I, you know, I don’t buy anything, particularly for exfoliation. I often make my own like salt and sugar scrubs or I’ll use like a, like a seaweed scrub.
Speaker 1: (04:06)
There was this brightening one from Allure that I really liked for a while. Anyway, the biggest thing I started doing was I stopped shaving that area. I tried to get laser hair removal and I had a very traumatizing experience where it burned my skin and left me with a spot that was like black charred skin, which luckily fell off eventually and healed. I don’t want to traumatize people from not, or like scare you away from getting laser. I’ve heard a lot of other people have been successful. Um, if you are a little bit of a, like, if you are a little darker skin, like I am, and especially in certain areas in my body, there’s a lot of hyperpigmentation. I would go with a dermatologist or someone who’s familiar with this kind of what’s that kind of skin type because that was the problem where different skin types are different skin pigmentations they have to like up the power of the laser.
Speaker 1: (04:57)
Anyway, I decided against laser, because again, my experience was so painful. I had an armpit tattoo. I can handle the pain that I could not handle that’s how bad it was. So I want to talk to you about what options, what I’ve been doing to, to not get ingrown hairs in that area. So I’m going to share my screen with you guys really quickly and okay. So number one, I’ve been doing, I learned about this optic type of all things, magic, shave powder, magic, shave powder is actually like, it’s just a depilatory. Like it tastes, it smells like Nair or like one of those, like, you know, it smells horrible. There are ones that have, um, scent in them. I tried to just go with the unscented because I know this is not a natural product. It smells like chemical and burning stuff, but, um, it’s been very gentle.
Speaker 1: (05:45)
It doesn’t burn it’s you, you, it’s a powder, you mix with water and then you put it on and then you leave it on for like five minutes and you wipe it off and the hair comes off with this. I only get like maybe one spot. Maybe that gets a little bumpy, but nothing it’s been the best one. Cause if I shave for it’s a mess, forget about it. And again, I learned a lot about this on Tik Tok. Um, it is a product that is used for is formulated for, um, black men, um, to on their face, you know, to use for their beards or their face for shaving. Because again, they also do a lot of ingrown hairs. Um, and again, I found that on Tik TOK, I’ve used it like four times. I try not to use it consistently, like honestly, that area, unless I’m going to the beach or like going to the beach, um, um, or when I’m really short shorts, I won’t de hair that area, but I try to use it maybe once a month, maybe twice a month to just like, keep testing it out, making sure it’s safe thus far.
Speaker 1: (06:43)
Yes. The other product that I bought recently that I’ve been using now for a few weeks is this it’s a butt and thigh, acne clearing treatment. The main ingredient in this is zinc oxide, which I’ve people that I’ve worked with one-on-one zinc has like, it’s like, what’s also in like diaper rash, ointments, essentially. Zinc also has, um, really good, like topicals, and specifically, there’s been clinical studies that show that it’s really good for like wound healing, but I really liked it, this is a lightweight cream. It, you know, it feels really nice. I’ve been putting it on my inner thigh. I’m kind of everywhere, honestly. And it does feel really good. And I feel like my skin feels overall the best it ever has with this cream. Um, and it’s the tub is actually really big. So if it’s for $15, you get quite a bit, this product I bought one of those like social media did it for social media made me do it that booty though. So this is a collagen, oh, no, sorry. This is no, this is, hold on.
Speaker 1: (07:44)
Sorry. Down with the thickness. That’s the one I have. So I bought the collagen mask. They also have that booty though is the scrub. And this is obviously it’s used to be, it’s meant to be like on your butt as they say, but I just been using it on where I have my scars thinking that you know, again, it’s supposed to, um, it’s supposed to help, you know, the appearance of acne and stretch marks essentially to make the scar the little bit lighter. I haven’t noticed that the scars have gotten lighter, but I do like that this collagen in it, and because my skin is so damaged, I have been using it to like, just again, make it a little stronger and a little more elasticity, because really damaged skin. And then something that I, I use, I have tea tree oil is an essential oil that I always have on hand.
Speaker 1: (08:30)
I think anyone with hidradenitis should have tea tree oil on hand. I don’t think it’s the end all be all like, it’s gonna like cure your HS. Like some people say well, but if I get any kind of little spot coming up, because he has, even though I’m in remission, I’m in remission. As long as I don’t eat nightshades, but sometimes I’m nightshade when I’m traveling or eating out. And then I get like a little bump come up. And of course, it’s not what it used to be, where I get this, like boil the last like three months and it’s horrendous, but I will, I will put tea, tree oil, like twice a day, like a morning and night on the spot. Like before it even becomes a thing and teach it always nip that in the bud. And not oftentimes just, um, like makes it with a little bit of CBD oil or like rosehip oil and then just put it all over.
Speaker 1: (09:12)
Um, like all my areas just to just, you know, just for good measure tea, tree oil is super versatile. Um, it’s, it’s anti like microbial it’s, it’s great. I mean, I really like apparently, like it also can help reduce the appearance of blemishes. Um, but again, I really just like it because it’s, I find it to be drying the biggest thing I find it to be drying. So it’ll like dry up a spot. I don’t have to dilute this one. This is the one I buy because I have young living essential oils. Um, but if you have very sensitive skin, then I would definitely dilute it. So other than this, again, the few things that other things I would say are if you have an area that’s still really sensitive, I would be really cautious.
Speaker 1: (10:02)
Of like how often you’re shaving the area. Um, like I’m varied. And like, I can shave my legs, but just that little spot kinda where I’m like the portion of things at the spot where my scars are, are actually not, don’t even grow hair anymore since the skin is so damaged, but just right around it. So that area, I just won’t shave that. And it’s okay. The hairs aren’t like, you know, it’s not like super crazy and I can shave almost everything else. Just that area I have to like, not overdo it, the shaving. Um, I’m also not someone who’s like super worried about being here at us all the time, because I’m a grown woman, but, um, and my husband doesn’t care, but I think that it’s one of those things that, again, you have to know your skin. I am also, um, I wear a lot of like leggings, legging shorts.
Speaker 1: (10:45)
I try to avoid, um, outfits where my thighs are going to rub together. Or even if I wear like cute shorts, I try to like, not do things that have like lace or really rough texture because although I don’t get boils, there’s still that skin that’s sensitive. So it gets, it’s going to irritate very like, you know, very easily. Um, I will show you, let me see if I can pull up a picture of, um, what my inner thighs are looking like right now. Um, my scars. So, cause I know you guys are gonna want to ask and I will show you kind of what my idea for the tattoos in the area are.
Speaker 1: (11:17)
Okay. So let me share, um, I guess I’ll just do my desktop with you guys and then we’ll just do it. Okay. So these are my scars. Um, and obviously as you can see on one of these, like these little bumps are like, that’s what happens when I shave like the, like having a little razor rash, I’ve been really careful not wanting to have these little bumps active when I do go in for the tattoos. Um, and as you see, they’re very textured. One side is definitely worse than the other, this picture is right here. These are fake tattoos. I just, wanted to make sure before I committed to them and granted, this is not the design I’m going to go with. I’m going to go with roses and a mom LA, that’s going to be bigger and kind of come out more to the middle of my thigh.
Speaker 1: (11:56)
So it’s not so centered like in my crotch, but I actually love this kind of like Viney. I don’t know. People were like, it looks like crazy pubic hair. I’m like, I think it looks awesome. It’s very like, you know, life-giving. I don’t know. I thought it was cool, but it’s not going to be exact. It’s not going to be that design. This was just my test. Cause again, I wanted to be really sure on what I was like committing to like the look, the aesthetic. So again, these were fake tattoos, but I, the fact that they’re, you know, they’re black and gray and that’s what they’re going to cover up. So that’s what my scars look like now. And again, right now they’re actually better because I don’t have these little bumps going on and I’m continuing to exfoliate the area. Um, be really wary.
Speaker 1: (12:35)
I have a silicone exfoliating pad, which is really good. And I just, you know, with soap and I think every time I shower, exfoliate, even if I shave or don’t shave after I use the magic shaving powder, I don’t exfoliate. I totally, before let it calm down, then after I de-hair, I l wait like a few hours, cause I don’t want to do it right after. And then I will like to put the acne treatment cream on it. For post-tattoo care, like when I got this piece done, I have tattoos on my arm, forearms that didn’t hurt at all. Nothing happened, no flaring didn’t get swollen. This bad boy was like red and for like five days. And then after that, I was totally fine.
Speaker 1: (13:22)
It didn’t make me flare. I’d put, I did Aquaphor. I did like dial antibacterial -soap and then I put Aquaphor on it twice a day, every day. That’s probably what I will also do with the tattoos on my inner thighs. The Aquaphor really, really worked. Um, so I will keep you guys posted on how the tattoo things go. I mean, I know that’s not something that a lot of people are probably gonna like to be into, but if that’s again, an option for covering up the scars of heightened security though, which I’ve been in remission for like mostly for a long time. And I’m just tired of thinking about them every time I go. I mean, I, I, you know, I’m from south Florida, I live in Hawaii again for a while in the military. And like, I like to wear shorts a lot.
Speaker 1: (14:02)
I don’t. And I’d rather have someone ask about tattoos in a weird place than these scars and having to like, just, I don’t know, see them, like I want to turn something traumatic. And in that, I don’t find any beauty and into something beautiful. Like the scars on my underarm weren’t that bad, but I love that I have this cool tattoo and it’s like a beautiful flower versus, you know, something that I have a negative, um, experience with. Um, so those are my skincare tips. I will link the products in the caption. I will also be embedding this video on my blog with another, with like the links and stuff as well, which I think will make it easier. Um, for every, for you to like, um, you know, save this or pin it on Pinterest or whatever. So if you have hydrolyzed spirits, you guys just want to say that you’re not alone. Um, I know how hard it is. I know how embarrassing and emotionally crippling it can be, uh, physically. I mean, I might, the height of my, when I, all those areas are flared up, there were times I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t sit, you know, I couldn’t do anything. Um, and I just want you to know I I’ve been there and,
Speaker 1: (15:07)
Easy every day is a challenge to maintain the lifestyle that keeps me in remission. But now that I live, pain-free, for me, it’s worth it. I will never eat a pizza again. And that is okay because I have freedom from this disease and for me, that’s worth it. So, you’ve got this my HS brothers and sisters love you guys, make sure to leave a comment and subscribe to my channel.
HS Skin Care Prodcuts
Butt & Thigh Acne Cream to help with healing and scars.
Magic Shaving Powder to avoid ingrown hairs.
Anese Down with the Thickness Collagen Mask to reduce the appearance of scars and improve skin quality.
Tea Tree Oil to dry up any spots, improve skin quality and clean.
Bandelettes are great to wear under dresses, to avoid thigh rub.
I am not a doctor, this information is not meant to diagnose or treat. I am sharing my personal experience with this. condition and what has worked for me as a patient and a nutritional therapy practitioner.