Hyperhidrosis and the risk of being treated for skin infections

J Dermatolog Treat. 2021 Jul 5;1-7. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2021.1944971. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: A few studies have described an increased prevalence of skin infections in individuals with hyperhidrosis compared to others. However, it remains uncertain whether hyperhidrosis is an independent risk factor for skin infections.

Objective: To compare the risk of skin infections in individuals with and without hyperhidrosis.

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, data on hyperhidrosis were collected from the Danish Blood Donor Study. Blood donors included in 2010-2019 were followed from inclusion until December 2019. Data on redeemed prescriptions against skin infections were collected from the National Prescription Register. The intensity of prescription-use by hyperhidrosis status was assessed in Andersen-Gill models.

Results: Overall, 4,176 (9.6%) of 43,477 blood donors had self-reported hyperhidrosis and 437 (0.34%) of 127,823 blood donors had hospital diagnosed hyperhidrosis. Self-reported hyperhidrosis was associated with the use of antibiotic prescriptions (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.21; 95% confidence interval 1.00-1.45, p = 0.047). Hospital diagnosed hyperhidrosis was associated with the use of antibiotic (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.33; 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.68, p = 0.028) and topical antifungal prescriptions (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.43; 95% confidence interval 1.04-1.97, p = 0.027).

Conclusions: Hyperhidrosis is associated with the use of prescriptions for antibiotics and topical antifungals. This suggests a clinically relevant association between hyperhidrosis and skin infections.

Keywords: Antibiotics; antifungals; cohort study; hyperhidrosis.