The psychiatric facet of hyperhidrosis: Demographics, disability, quality of life, and associated psychopathology

Larissa Da R Lessa, Flavio B. Luz, Rebeca M. De Rezende, Sandra M. Durães, Ben J. Harrison, Gabriela Bezerra de Menezes, Leonardo F. Fontenelle

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22 Citations (Scopus)


We compared the sociodemographic and psychiatric features of treatment-seeking patients with (n=17) and without (n=29) primary hyperhidrosis (HYH) attending an outpatient dermatological clinic. Subjects were assessed with a structured clinical questionnaire, the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, as well as the Screening for Abnormal Olfactory Experiences (to assess for symptoms of olfactory reference syndrome), the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised, the Social Phobia Inventory, the Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories, the Skindex-16 (a quality of life measure for patients with skin diseases), and the Sheehan Disability Scale. Patients with HYH were more frequently younger (p=0.003), unmarried (p=0.004), employed (p=0.019), more educated (p<0.0001), and better paid (p=0.001) than non-HYH patients. However, they also reported greater disabilities and impairments in work/school (p=0.05) and social life (p=0.014) domains, worse quality of life in emotional (p=0.003) and functioning (p>0.001) dimensions, and they had a greater frequency of comorbid social anxiety disorder (p=0.019). Conversely, non-HYH patients had greater severity of obsessive-compulsive neutralization symptoms (repeating compulsions, counting, and having lucky/unlucky numbers) (p=0.034). In conclusion, patients with HYH are characterized by differential sociodemographic and psychopathological characteristics, with major disability, marked impairment in quality of life, and increased rates of social anxiety disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-323
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • disability
  • hyperhidrosis
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • quality of life
  • social phobia

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