My 23-year-old daughter is suffering from hidradenitis suppurativa. Minute pustules appear on her skin, which later get filled with pus. A doctor said there is no treatment for this because it is caused by oily skin. He said it may disappear on its own after she reaches a certain age. However, he gave her an injection meant to control the oil glands. Is there a cure in Ayurveda? U.M., Dubai.

Another condition with an unknown cause! But it is considered a severe form of acne because it occurs deep in the skin around the oil glands and hair follicles. Hidradenitis suppurativa usually appears as one or more red, tender bumps that fill with pus. It commonly occurs where oil and apocrine sweat glands are found, such as the armpits, groin and anal area. It may also occur in areas where skin rubs together.

Excess weight, stress, hormonal changes, cigarette smoking, heat or excessive perspiration can worsen symptoms.

As in acne, hidradenitis suppurativa develops when the opening of the oil glands and hair follicles get blocked. When oils and other skin products get trapped under the skin they push into surrounding tissue. Bacteria can then trigger infection and inflammation.

Sometimes hidradenitis suppurativa occurs with other diseases, such as Crohn’s disease. Early treatment can help manage the symptoms and prevent new lesions from developing.

● Apply a warm washcloth or compress to help reduce swelling.

● Gently wash the affected areas with antibacterial soap. After washing, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream.

● Wear loose-fitting clothes and underwear to prevent skin irritation.

● Avoid shaving the affected areas.

● Lose weight.

● Regularly take a teaspoonful of thriphala* powder at bedtime.

● An extensive ayurvedic treatment could be quite helpful for your daughter.

I suggest she meet an ayurvedic doctor in person.

*Available at shops selling herbal products.

If you have a question for Dr Shyam, send a mail to Wellbeing, Friday, Gulf News, PO Box 6519, Dubai, UAE, or fax 04 3421039. You may also email