June 07, 2016
New AbbVie Global Campaign Aims to Provide Educational Resources for Millions Living with Painful, Chronic Skin Disease
- What's Your Sore Spot? campaign seeks to help people impacted by hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) more quickly identify symptoms and engage in conversations with healthcare providers
- The average time to diagnosis for someone with HS is more than eight years[1]

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., June 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, today announced the launch of What's Your Sore Spot?, a disease education campaign to connect people impacted by hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), a painful, chronic, inflammatory skin disease,2 with educational resources designed to help them obtain an accurate diagnosis. The campaign, which is launching during HS Awareness Week (June 6 – 12), features, a gateway to more than two dozen country-specific websites with useful tools and resources about HS, including a symptom checker and discussion guide.

Impacting approximately one to four percent of adults worldwide, with an average age of onset of 21, HS is marked by debilitating symptoms such as recurrent and painful abscesses and nodules on the skin – typically in areas of the armpits, groin, buttocks and breasts.1-3 Often feeling isolated and embarrassed, many people with HS face significant challenges in their daily lives, work ability, physical activities and emotional state.1-2,4-6 HS can also be difficult to diagnose. Despite the typical clinical presentation, the disease is often diagnosed only after a considerable delay; in one study, the median delay was 12 years. Often cases are misdiagnosed as common boils.1

"Before putting a name to my condition, I felt frustrated and alone and in pain. I often struggled to express the impact HS had on my life, both physically and emotionally," said Tara Burton, founder of The Hidradenitis Suppurativa Trust, who has lived with HS for more than 20 years. "If you think you may have HS, it's important for you to know that you are not alone. I encourage you to visit, look at the educational materials and seek advice from your healthcare provider. It's time to get answers."

"Despite being a serious and painful chronic condition, HS is a relatively unknown and not well understood disease, which contributes to delays in patients receiving an accurate diagnosis," said Dominik Hochli, vice president, global medical affairs, AbbVie. "The What's Your Sore Spot? campaign demonstrates AbbVie's commitment to work with patients, advocates and healthcare professionals to increase awareness about this debilitating disease and facilitate open dialogue during all phases of the patient journey."

The campaign What's Your Sore Spot? was developed with HS advocates from around the world, to help bring discussion of the condition out into the open and reach people who may be struggling to understand their disease. Using social media to reach this digitally-savvy patient population, What's Your Sore Spot? aims to connect those living with the condition with others who may be experiencing symptoms, but have not yet been diagnosed by a dermatologist. By encouraging the use of the hashtags #sorespot and #brightspot through social media engagement, AbbVie is seeking to build a groundswell of conversation among those impacted by this disease by encouraging people to share their stories of pain and frustration caused by HS (#sorespot), together with stories and photos that illustrate their personal moments of triumph and hope (#brightspot).

HS can be progressive in some, so early diagnosis and disease management are important.7 HS patients and people who think they may have HS should talk to their healthcare professional.

People living with HS, their loved ones and the community at-large are encouraged to support the What's Your Sore Spot? Thunderclap at Thunderclap is a platform that allows people to pledge a Tweet or a Facebook message that is released all at the same time. Supporters of the What's Your Sore Spot? Thunderclap have the opportunity to create a thunderous "social media moment" by sharing a unifying message at the end of HS Awareness Week on Saturday, June 11.

More information about What's Your Sore Spot?, including a printable discussion guide to help facilitate an open conversation with a dermatologist, can be found on country-specific HS Online websites. These sites serve as a local destination for credible and accurate information about many aspects of HS. Resources include a useful overview of HS symptoms, a discussion guide to help patients identify symptoms related to HS and engage in dialogue with their dermatologist, as well as videos from real people, living with HS, sharing their stories.

About AbbVie
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. Together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmacyclics, AbbVie employs more than 28,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visit Follow @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.


  1. Jemec G. Hidradenitis Suppurativa. N Engl J Med. 2012; 366:158-64.
  2. Dufour DN, Emtestam L, Jemec GB. Hidradenitis Suppurativa: A Common and Burdensome, Yet Under-Recognised, Inflammatory Skin Disease. Postgrad Med J. 2014; 90 (1062):216-21.
  3. Collier F, Smith RC, Morton, CA. Diagnosis and management of hidradenitis suppurativa. BMJ. 2013;346.
  4. Esmann S, Jemec GB. Psychosocial impact of hidradenitis suppurativa: a qualitative study. Acta dermato-venereologica. 2011;91(3):328-332.
  5. Mayo Health Clinic. Hidradenitis Suppurativa. Available at: Published April 9, 2013. Accessed April 26, 2016.
  6. Shavit E, Dreiher j, Freud T, Halevy S, Vinker S, Cohen AD. Psychiatric comorbidities in 3207 patients with hidradenitis suppurativa. JEADV.2014:1-5.
  7. American Academy of Dermatology. Hidradenitis suppurativa. Available at: Accessed April 26, 2016.



For further information: International Media: Dana Harville, +1 (847) 935-0580,



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