Hyperhidrosis - Sweating Sites Matter: Quality of Life in Primary Hyperhidrosis according to the Sweating Sites Measured by SF-36

Dermatology. 2017;233(6):441-445. doi: 10.1159/000486713. Epub 2018 Mar 2.


Background: Primary hyperhidrosis has negative impacts on quality of life. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the impacts of primary hyperhidrosis on quality of life are different depending on the localisation of the sweating.

Method: We compiled background data, Hyperhidrosis Disease Severity Scale (HDSS), and Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) post hoc results from 2 previous studies. Cases who described only 1 site as their most problematic area of sweating were included (n = 160/188) while individuals with multifocal primary sites of hyperhidrosis were excluded (n = 28/188).

Results: Individuals included were 11-62 years old with a mean age of 30.2 ± 10.4 years, and axillary hyperhidrosis (65.6%) was the most common type of hyperhidrosis. Comorbidities were more common when hyperhidrosis was reported in other than the axillary, palmar, and plantar regions. Excluding comorbidities showed the lowest SF-36 mental component summary scores for axillary (41.6 ± 11.6), palmar (40.0 ± 9.4), and plantar hyperhidrosis (41.1 ± 13.7). The HDSS showed the highest proportion of severe cases in axillary (60.6%) and palmar (51.5%) hyperhidrosis (p < 0.01) while mild cases were more often observed in plantar (60%), facial (83.3%), and other sites (85.7%) in primary hyperhidrosis (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Our results indicate that impairments in quality of life can be different depending on the manifestation of primary hyperhidrosis on the body. This can have an influence on how patients with hyperhidrosis could be prioritised in health care. Subgroup samples affected by facial hyperhidrosis and other sites of primary hyperhidrosis were however small, and more research is required to verify our findings.

Keywords: Hyperhidrosis; Quality of life; Survey.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Axilla*
  • Child
  • Facial Dermatoses* / psychology
  • Female
  • Foot Dermatoses* / psychology
  • Hand Dermatoses* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis* / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult