Diet in hidradenitis suppurativa: a review of published and lay literature

Int J Dermatol. 2019 Nov;58(11):1225-1230. doi: 10.1111/ijd.14465. Epub 2019 Apr 21.


Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, recurring, inflammatory skin disorder resulting in skin abscesses and sinus tracts of the skin folds. Hidradenitis suppurativa remains a disease with limited treatment options. Management of disease activity with dietary modification has been of considerable interest to the HS patient community. Limited evidence exists to support dietary changes for treatment of HS. Strategies such as eliminating dairy products, limiting simple carbohydrate and sugar intake, and avoiding nightshades (Solanaceae) and foods containing brewer's yeast have been reported to be helpful in some patients. Several supplements have also been touted as beneficial. Herein, we review the existing dietary recommendations in both peer-reviewed and lay literature in an attempt to consolidate and evaluate existing information, while stimulating further inquiry into the role of diet in HS. Although dietary modifications are often of considerable interest to HS patients, there is a paucity of data regarding diet as it relates to HS. It is unclear whether diet may prove to be of value in limiting the severity of HS. Further research is needed to determine the potential benefits of these dietary changes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / diagnosis
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / diet therapy*
  • Humans
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome