Hidradenitis suppurativa/acne inversa (HS) has been until recently an orphaned disease. A current publication reported a delay of 7.2 years between the first signs of the disease and its diagnosis, a mostly critical period of time, which can lead to the known debilitating clinical picture. Moreover, HS is the skin disease with the highest loss of life quality at the most productive age.
These facts were relevant reasons for a small group of physicians and patients to inaugurate the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation, Inc. in 2005 and organise the 1st International Hidradenitis Suppurativa Research Symposium, 30 March–2 April 2006 in Dessau, Germany. The so-called Dessau definition of the disease and the HSF 2006 Outstanding Investigator Award presented to Prof. Gregor B. Jemec for his innovative contribution were the milestones of that Symposium. Since these legendary, pioneer days many things have changed to the better. The interest to the disease and the scientific work performed have grown exponentially. HS has found its home in dermatology. Patients have been organised in several national self-aid groups. A first compound for conservative treatment has been clinically tested and already registered. At last, the European Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation (EHSF) e.V. has been established and grown up, celebrating in 2016 its 5th anniversary.
After Dessau, San Francisco, and Brussels twice, the EHSF e.V. is going to visit the capital of Germany and organises its 5thInternational Conference in 10–12 February 2016 at the Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus at the centre of Berlin. It is a great opportunity to celebrate 10 years of common fascinating and productive work but also to summarise the research and the clinical activities, which are ongoing around the globe. The huge developments which occurred in understanding HS pathophysiology and the needs of medical and psychological care of HS patients but also the targets for the years to come will be the central subjects of this scientific event. In parallel, EHSF e.V. opens its doors to invite all caring physicians and scientists, independently of their specialisation, to participate, since the emerging comorbidity of HS requires an interdisciplinary approach.
As EHSF e.V. president, I am fascinated for what we have reached together. However, there is a general consensus that the growing level of knowledge makes it difficult to follow the rapid development in the field, even for experts. Therefore, I am honoured and pleased to invite you to the 5th International Conference of the EHSF e.V. Our purpose is to construct a scientific programme of high impact providing current information on research and clinical relevance on HS. The speakers will be chosen among those of you, who will submit abstracts, attracting both experts in the field and motivating upcoming specialists to participate, but also young scientists and students working or wishing to work in this fascinating field in the future. Participants will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and perspectives and to gain a better insight in HS. We have no doubt that your journey to Berlin will be an interesting experience and we will make our best efforts that your scientific expectations and networking wishes will be fulfilled.
I look forward to addressing you a friendly welcome to Berlin and thank you in advance for joining us at the 5th International Conference of the EHSF e.V.
Prof. Dr. Prof. h.c. Dr. h.c. Christos C. Zouboulis
Dessau, President of the EHSF e.V.