The Comfiest Bras and Underwear that Won't Irritate Your HSby Maryn Liles Lifestyle Writer
There's no point in sugar-coating it: Hidradenitis suppurativa hurts. Usually a lot. And the pain caused by its under-the-skin bumps and boils often center on our most sensitive areas, like under the arms and breasts and in the groin and genitals. The easiest thing would be to stay naked to make sure undergarments and clothes don't cause even more irritation. But since that's not really an option for most people, we asked a few #HSwarriors to share their picks for the softest, most HS-friendly bras and underwear.
When your HS flares up, only gentle fabrics will do. “My all-time favorite undergarment brand is MeUndies. The material is so soft and cooling,” says Instagrammer and #HSWarrior Selina Ferragamo (@hidradenitis.selina). “The fabric (made from natural beachwood tree fibers) allows me to still wear bras and underwear when I’m flaring under my arms or in my groin. Plus, they always have really awesome prints, and update them frequently.” $72 for a bikini 6-pack
Ellen Tracy Essentials
For affordable comfort that won’t irritate your HS, Sara Tanner (@sara.reliving)—who says her HS symptoms got worse during pregnancy—suggests Ellen Tracy Essentials underwear. “There’s a good percentage of Spandex in them, so they’re flexible and mold to your body very well while still being breathable,” says Tanner. “I get mine from Sam’s Club!” They retail for about $15 for a 4-pack.
It’s essential to focus on both fabric and fit when choosing underwear for HS. “Be sure to wear your correct size and choose breathable materials like cotton,” suggests 32-year-old Starla Mathis (@starlakmathis), who’s been dealing with her HS since high school. “You want to avoid digging and chafing that can occur when wearing the wrong size undergarments.” Look for 100-percent cotton Carole Hochman hipster panties (available at Costco!), a seriously feel-good pick. $14 for a 5-pack
Underwire bras can rub too much and create painful bumps, which is why many HS sufferers report that going wireless is a no-brainer. “I recently got a bra from Torrid called the 360° Back Smoothing Everyday Lightly Lined Wire-Free Bra,” Tanner shares, who says there’s a lot to love about it if you have HS: It has no wire, great coverage and wide shoulder and back straps, so it’s less irritating on your already-sensitive skin. Styles from $31 to $45
For pieces that mix style with amazing amounts of comfiness, try Sloggi. “Their bras are made with a really soft microfiber material and they don’t have an underwire or seams, which makes them very comfortable to wear,” says Suzanne Moloney (@hidrawear), an HS patient. “I find the bras by Sloggi have great support and look really sleek, too.” Bras from $38 to $46
Seamless styles, like sports bras and demi bras available at Gap Body, are also widely recommended by people with HS, thanks to their one-piece construction. Without any seams, these bras are gentler on the delicate skin below your bust and in your armpits, where HS bumps are likely to occur. Plus, you can take advantage of Gap’s regular discounts for buying multiple bras at once by stocking up on a few different cuts and colors that work with your various shirt styles. $30 to $50 each
Some #HSWarriors prefer boyshort-style underwear since the longer length doesn’t irritate their HS quite as much. If you agree, Thinx Boyshorts are an especially comfortable pick. They’re technically marketed as “period-proof underwear”—which is a bonus for people with HS, since it means blood from your HS wounds won’t end up ruining your panties. $39 a pair
Fruit of the Loom
Many people with HS, including women, say that during their worst lower-body flareups only men’s boxers will do, so having a pack of all-cotton Fruit of the Loom Men’s Boxers on hand is a smart move. $20 for a 5-pack
You can also check out the brand's Wirefree Bras, which have lightly padded cups that offer better support and shape than a sports bra. So easy to wear you can even sleep in them! $13 for one bra
For women with HS who wear sizes 14 to 32, wirefree cotton bras from Penningtons are another high-comfort option. These lightly padded bras, which offer much-needed shape and support for bustier women, are ultra-soft and flexible, so they’re less likely to cause discomfort or irritate your already painful wounds. Plus, Penningtons bras come in quite a few different colors and styles, so you don’t wind up with a drawer full of only one type. $45 for one bra
Sometimes, even the gentlest bra and underwear brands can irritate your HS, which is why a layer of extra protection can help. “I hate when unfortunate leaks end up ruining my wonderful bras,” says Moloney, @hidrawear, which is why she’s developing an HS-specific wound care product that’ll be available spring 2020, called Hidrawear AX—it's an adhesive-free armpit guard that goes over your bra. Other #HSWarriors also recommend using More of Me to Love absorbent bra liners for added leak-proof protection.
Use the coupon code REMEDY in your cart to get $5 OFF any More of Me to Love order that includes bamboo bra liners. (Get an extra 15% off that when you buy two packs or an extra 30% off 3 or more.) Check them out here. Coupon valid through 1/31/20.