Meet Ole, aged 39, suffering from hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) and psoriasis, two skin diseases with significant impact on quality of life.

Ole was diagnosed with psoriasis when he was a teenager and diagnosed with HS at the age of
33. For Ole, the first symptoms of HS started with a small inflammatory abscess on his back. He
consulted a doctor specialized in HS who gave him the diagnosis and prescribed a cream to treat
the abscess.

Ole was fortunate to be treated by a doctor who was familiar with HS. On another occasion when
Ole was travelling, he started feeling pain and found an abscess the size of a golf ball on his
thigh. The pain was so intense that he needed to get immediate treatment and he had to go to a
local hospital. As he was travelling, he could not consult his regular dermatologist who is specialized
in HS. At the hospital, the doctor he saw was not familiar with HS.

Ole received several different injections into the abscess before the inflammation had been
reduced and was no longer causing pain. The doctor’s lack of knowledge of HS resulted in a
lot of pain and very damaged skin due to all the injections. Ole had to undergo laser surgery
when he came back from his travels to completely remove the abscess and repair his skin. This was
a complicated process due to the anesthesia, and after the surgery it took a long time for the wound
to heal.

For Ole, it was not possible to effectively treat his HS with topical cream, and after a couple of years, he was offered biologic treatment. With Ole’s fear of needles, a family member must help with his weekly injections, which is frustrating and stressful for both Ole and his family. As the injectable is the only approved treatment for HS, Ole has no other option but to continue with it, but his hope is that one day an oral treatment option will be available.

“ In my family we speak openly about having HS, as both my mother and sister have the disease. I have grown up with HS around me and know how negatively the disease influences the lives of people living
with HS and their surrounding family.”