Aunt Vadge: what do you think about laser hair removal for hidradenitis suppurativa?

Hello and thank you for your site!

I am an HS [hidradenitis suppurativa] sufferer for about 10 years now. Luckily the only area that has been affected is the groin area and it has never been too severe, but needless to say during flares – very uncomfortable, embarrassing and pretty painful.

Over the past few months I have been doing lots of research on natural ways to manage the flares and I have found some amazing advice. My question though is how do you feel about laser hair removal? I read that it can possibly help reduce the keratin build up in the follicle due to the laser. Any advice?

Thanks again
HS Sufferer

Hi HS Sufferer,

I am really a fan of trying everything, and with some evidence suggesting that laser hair removal could be a helping hand, it seems like something you could try. I would suggest going to a specialist dermatologist clinic to have it done, however, with proper high-tech lasers. Your local hair-removal clinic is probably not going to know enough about it, or have the right information for you, since the research seems to suggest you need quite aggressive treatments to have an impact.

You want a dermatologist doing this, not your local beautician. You could do a test patch next to another affected area so you can tell the difference or find a dermatologist who has experience treating HS and take their advice regarding the depth/breadth of the treatments.

It shouldn’t take long to figure out whether laser hair removal will be a useful management strategy for you. Anything that reduces the inflammation seems useful.

A research paper seems to indicate that it could be moderately useful in some people, with aggressive treatments, and works best in those with low inflammation at the time of treatments.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge