What is HS?
Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, systemic, immune-mediated skin disease which affects between 1-3% of the global population however the diagnosis is often delayed or the condition is misdiagnosed with the true prevalence unknown. In general, HS has a higher impact on the quality of life of affected individuals compared to other dermatological conditions.1
The average Canadian (HS) patient will see five doctors with over 17 visits spanning eight years before being diagnosed. HS is associated with very painful symptoms, deep-seated lesions (nodules or abscesses) accompanied by unpleasant odor and purulent drainage. The lesions are present under the arms, groin, and perianal area with the breasts being affected in female individuals. With time, the lesions can be clustered with residual scarring (see Hurley stages on page 2).
Patients often suffer for years without effective treatment, leaving them frustrated in addition to helpless and ashamed. Many have stopped seeking medical attention as a result of ineffective therapies.
RECOGNIZING THE DISEASE
HOW IS DISEASE SEVERITY MEASURED IN HS?
HURLEY STAGE 1
Single or multiple abscesses without sinus tracts or scarring.
HURLEY STAGE 2
One or more widely separated recurrent abscesses with tract formation and scarring
HURLEY STAGE 3
Multiple interconnected tracts and abcesses across the entire area: diffuse or near-diffuse involvement.