Sweating Condition Triggers Skin Infections

Photo: Skin with sweat drops and pink flower on top

Patients with hyperhidrosis seem to
hesitate to seek medical advice;
© bbroianigo/pixelio.de

In the study, it was found that primary hyperhidrosis patients are more prone to skin infections than those without the condition. Hyperhidrosis is categorised as either primary (not caused by a separate medical condition or medication) or secondary (caused by an underlying medical condition or medication).

The researchers collected medical records for 387 patients who were diagnosed with primary hyperhidrosis. They also collected records for 410 age- and gender-matched patients who were diagnosed with an unrelated condition. They then examined the medical records of the primary hyperhidrosis patients in search of coexisting skin infections that affected the areas involved by hyperhidrosis. They compared these results to the patients without hyperhidrosis who had been diagnosed with a skin infection that affected any area of the body.

The overall risk of developing a skin infection caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses was significantly higher for the patients with primary hyperhidrosis than those without (30 percent of patients with hyperhidrosis developed a skin infection versus twelve percent of those without). In particular, patients with primary hyperhidrosis had a significantly higher risk of developing a fungal infection in the areas affected by hyperhidrosis (12.1 percent) than the control group (2.7 percent). Similarly, the risk of bacterial infection was heightened in primary hyperhidrosis patients (5.4 percent) versus those in the control group (2.2 percent) as was the overall risk of viral infection (12.4 percent of patients versus 7.1 percent of controls). Also of note, an increased association with atopic or eczematous dermatitis was observed in patients with primary hyperhidrosis (9.3 percent) versus those without (3.4 percent).

“The patients in the study waited, on average, nearly nine years after experiencing symptoms of hyperhidrosis before they visited a dermatologist,” said lead researcher Hobart Walling. “It is important that patients know that seeking treatment for hyperhidrosis not only will positively impact their quality of life, but it may help prevent skin infections from occurring and deter other associated complications.”

MEDICA.de; Source: American Academy of Dermatology (AAD)