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Folliculitis and Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) are two distinct skin conditions that can significantly affect individuals’ quality of life. While both conditions involve inflammation of the skin, they differ in their causes, symptoms, and the areas of the body they affect. From an Ayurvedic perspective, these conditions can be seen as manifestations of imbalances within the body’s doshas, and their management involves restoring this balance through holistic practices. This article explores the Ayurvedic approach to understanding and treating folliculitis and HS.

 Overview of Folliculitis and HS from an Ayurvedic Viewpoint

Folliculitis is primarily considered an inflammation of the hair follicles, often due to bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic infections. Ayurveda may interpret this condition as a Pitta-Kapha disorder, where the inflammation (Pitta) and the blockages or swellings (Kapha) disturb the skin’s normal function.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa, on the other hand, is a chronic condition characterized by painful lumps under the skin, particularly in areas where skin rubs together. Ayurveda might view HS as an imbalance involving all three doshas, with a significant influence of Pitta causing the inflammation and Vata contributing to the pain and the chronic nature of the disease.

 Similarities and Differences from an Ayurvedic Perspective

Both conditions are seen as inflammatory in nature, with a potential involvement of Pitta dosha, leading to redness, swelling, and pain. They can both cause significant discomfort and emotional distress, impacting the quality of life. However, their Ayurvedic treatment approaches differ due to their underlying doshic imbalances and the tissues involved.

 Ayurvedic Treatment Approaches

Ayurveda for Folliculitis:

– Detoxification: Cleansing therapies like Panchakarma are recommended to remove toxins that may cause inflammation.

– Herbal Remedies: Neem, turmeric, and Triphala have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can be used both topically and internally to reduce symptoms.

– Diet: A Pitta-Kapha pacifying diet, avoiding hot, spicy, and oily foods while promoting cooling and cleansing foods like cucumbers, apples, and leafy greens.

– Lifestyle Adjustments: Good hygiene practices are crucial, alongside regular exercise and stress management techniques such as yoga and meditation to balance the doshas.

Ayurvedic Management of Hidradenitis Suppurativa:

– Diet and Lifestyle: An anti-inflammatory diet rich in vegetables and low in dairy and red meat can help, along with lifestyle changes to reduce friction in affected areas.

– Herbal Treatments: Applying a paste of turmeric or aloe vera can soothe inflammation, while systemic treatments might include Guggulu and Triphala to detoxify and reduce inflammation.

– Stress Reduction: Regular practice of meditation, Pranayama (breathing exercises), and gentle yoga can help manage stress, which may exacerbate HS.

– Surgical Treatments: In severe cases, Ayurveda supports surgical interventions, known as Shastrakarma, which can be considered to remove severely affected tissues, followed by rejuvenative therapies to enhance healing.


In Ayurveda, both Folliculitis and Hidradenitis Suppurativa are treated by addressing the root causes of the imbalances and through personalized treatment plans that involve dietary changes, herbal remedies, detoxification, and lifestyle adjustments. Understanding these conditions from an Ayurvedic perspective allows for a holistic approach to treatment that not only addresses the symptoms but also works to restore overall health and balance to prevent recurrence. Accurate diagnosis and customized treatment plans are essential, ideally guided by an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner.


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