Hyperhidrosis

1st September 2014 by NASGP

Hyperhidrosis

I imagine we’ve all been sweating a bit more than usual these past few weeks during this hot humid weather we’ve been having, but imagine being like that, only worse, all the time. Primary hyperhidrosis is probably commoner than we think, with an estimated prevalence of 1% and it can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. The peak age of onset is between 15 and 18y. This useful BMJ review gives us pointers on diagnosing and managing this distressing condition (BMJ 2013;347:f6800).

Diagnosis

First, we need to determine whether the excess sweating is primary or secondary:

Primary hyperhidrosis

Characterised by focal symmetrical sweating in a well patient affecting:

  • Axillae (73%)
  • Hands (46%)
  • Feet (41%)
  • Scalp (23%)
  • Groin (9%)
  • Secondary hyperhidrosis

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