Hidradenitis suppurativa / acne inversa (HS) has been until 2006 an orphan disease. Many aspects have changed since then to the better, thanks to the joint contributions of dedicated colleagues around the globe. However, the delay of diagnosis of 7.2 years published by Saunte et al. in 2015 on 517 patients from 24 countries reveals that, despite the rapid progress in scientific knowledge and treatment measurements, a lot has still to be done to improve the course of this debilitating disease and the life quality of diseased fellows at their most productive age.
The inauguration of the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation, Inc. in 2005 and the European Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation e.V. (EHSF e.V.) in 2012 and the organization of international thematic conferences, in Dessau, Germany (2006), San Francisco, IL, USA (2009), Brussels, Belgium (2014 and 2015), Berlin, Germany (2016), Copenhagen, Denmark (2017), Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2018) and Wroclaw, Poland (2019) have been milestones for dissemination of knowledge. They resulted in products of international clinical cooperation, such as the consensus definition of the disease, the diagnostic criteria and the national and European guidelines for treatment as well as the inclusion of HS to the diseases, whose harmonization of care is targeted by the European Reference Networks for Rare and Complex Skin Diseases (ERN Skin). In addition to the clinical progress, the scientific interest to the disease has rapidly increased and the scientific work performed by clinician and scientists has grown exponentially. Patients have been organized in several self-aid groups. A first compound for medical treatment has been registered with more are currently studied in dermatological departments worldwide. HS home in in global Dermatology.
The EHSF e.V. grows up with every conference, which provide significant information to the scientific and lay community at an annual basis. In 2020, the EHSF e.V. is going to visit the historic city of Athens. A specialists’ team from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki overtake the local organization of the 9th International Conference in February 5-7, 2020. It will offer a great opportunity to deepen into current HS research and summarize the developments, which occurred in HS during the last, exciting year. The better understanding of HS pathophysiology and the actualization of the guidelines for HS treatment but also first results of the ongoing clinical studies and the targets for the years to come will be the central subjects of this scientific event. Parallely, EHSF e.V. opens its doors to the representatives of specialized nurses working groups and invites all caring physicians and scientists, independently of their specialization, 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 and for the growing speed of our Society. I am honoured and pleased to invite you to the 9th International Conference of the EHSF e.V. in Athens. We plan to construct a scientific programme of high impact providing current information on research and its clinical relevance on HS and speakers selected among you, who are going to 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 and the partners of the pharmaceutical industry, who are active in the field. During the Conference you will have the opportunity to share your knowledge and perspectives and also gain a better insight into HS by discussing with experts. At last but not least, you will reactivate old friendships and obtain the opportunity to develop new ones.
I have no doubt that the 9th International EHSF Conference will become an unforgettable experience, especially since our local hosts are overtaking superb efforts to satisfy our networking wishes and to present you Athens and its Greek hospitality.
I look forward to address you a friendly welcome to Athens and thank you in advance for joining us in the 9th International Conference of the EHSF e.V.
On behalf of the Organizing and Scientific Programme Committees
Prof. Dr. med. Prof. honoraire Dr. h.c. Christos C. Zouboulis, Dessau
President of the EHSF e.V.