Hyperhidrosis and its impact on those living with it

Am J Manag Care. 2018 Dec;24(23 Suppl):S491-S495.


Sweating plays a vital role for humans. However, excessive sweating, also called hyperhidrosis, is a condition resulting in sweating beyond what is physiologically necessary. The increased rate of sweating is not caused by external stimuli or temperature fluctuations, as with an individual without hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis affects approximately 4.8% of Americans. Primary hyperhidrosis, a specific classification of the disease, primarily affects younger adults aged 18 to 39 years, and it often has a genetic component. Living with hyperhidrosis presents many challenges and impacts numerous aspects of daily life. Patients with hyperhidrosis are impacted in their social and professional lifestyles, as well as their mental and emotional health. These negative effects, which have been studied, lead to a lower quality of life (QOL) in this population. Additionally, constant moisture from sweating can lead to skin maceration. This increases the risk of skin conditions such as athlete's foot and more severe conditions such as bacterial infections or pitted keratolysis. Study results report a nearly 30% greater risk of skin infections in patients with hyperhidrosis compared with healthy controls. This section of the continuing education supplement will examine the pathophysiology and clinical severity of hyperhidrosis and identify the comorbidities and QOL challenges associated with this condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis / complications*
  • Hyperhidrosis / epidemiology
  • Hyperhidrosis / physiopathology
  • Hyperhidrosis / psychology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index