Prevalence and Impact of Dietary Avoidance among Individuals with Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Alison Dempsey, Melissa Butt, Joslyn S. Kirby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: People with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) are interested in dietary alterations to manage the condition. However, there are few data on the prevalence of this or the impact on HS activity. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence and impact of dietary alterations made by people with HS. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was sent to people with HS through multiple sources. Participants reported food alterations in the prior 6 months. -Results: Overall, 242 complete surveys were included in this analysis; the mean age was 35.8 years, and most (87.5%) were women. The majority (75.8%, n = 182) altered at least one food from their diet. Within this group, 154 (84.6%) made changes to multiple food groups. The top 5 food groups that were altered were gluten (48.8%), dairy (44.2%), refined sugars (40.0%), tomatoes (36.7%), and alcohol (37.1%). Smoking was eliminated in 27.5% of participants. Some participants (30.9%) reported the change made the HS "much better."Conclusions: Dietary alteration to manage HS was common among participants in this study. Some people reported improvement in HS activity, but some noted worsening. Additional research is needed to evaluate the efficacy of dietary alteration to manage HS and to better understand the underlying pathomechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-295
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology


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