To refer to HS as a severe form of acne is to throw water on the issue itself. HS is hereditary, as many people I know who have it have a family member or had a family member who has it. I quit smoking almost a year ago, so I'm sure that smoking didn't cause it. I am not overweight. I started at stage 2, and went straight into stage 3. You also forgot to mention exactly how debilitating this disease can be, not just physically, but mentally. Birth control almost killed me, as I have a clotting disorder. I don't have any of the major diseases that are associated with the development of HS. My abcesses don't drain. They stay under the skin. Also, it has been found that this disease affects more than just the groin, under arms, and under the breasts.