Quality of Life Issues for Patients with Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis)
What are quality of life issues for patients with hyperhidrosis? Patients and medical directors of health insurance companies often toil with these issues. At heart of the matter is that patients with excessive sweating due to primary hyperhidrosis have difficulties associated with this medical problem.
Imagine the nurse or doctor who has excessive palmar sweating, who is faced with the dilemma of having cold hands or sweaty hands when examining a patient or changing wound dressings. Imagine the nurse who has visible sweat in a surgical glove made out of vinyl.
Now, imagine a lawyer who has visible sweat on the forehead during a major trial. How does he or she feel when others see him with sweat dripping down the forehead. Surely, this is not considered a lawyer who is "in control" of this situation.
Imagine a very real scenario in everyday business life when a salesperson enters your office and feels obliged to shake your hands. As you shake his or her hands, you feel disgusted because the palms are cold, damp and sometimes sweaty. You tell yourslef that you will never shake that person's hands again!
Researchers from the Division of Thoracic Surgery Division of Vascular Surgery, Hospital das Clinicas, University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Sao Paulo, Brazil have performed a much needed study regarding "quality of life [indicators] before and after thoracic sympathectomy. The lead author of the study, Dr. Milanez de Campos states that the [main] objective was to assess the quality of life of patients who underwent thoracic sympathectomy.
Of 378 patients, 57.4% had palmar-plantar hyperhidrosis; 25% with palmar, plantar, and axillary hyperhidrosis; 15.7% with pure axillary hyperhidrosis; and 6.5% with facial hyperhidrosis.
According to the authors, "successful sympathectomies were performed in 90.3% of the patients and mean follow-up was 12.4 +/- 8.3 months.
Of the total number of patients, 93.4% answered the quality of life questionnaire, 86.4% of whom noted improvement after the procedure. The authors concluded that "thoracic sympathectomy is a simple, effective, safe method for the treatment of hyperhidrosis, resulting in an improved quality of life for patients. The questionnaire documents this change.
Studies such as these are highly needed to support patients who seek treatment for hyperhidrosis, whether it is with iontophoresis, Botox or with thoracic sympathectomy. As in this study, research has shown that quality of life indicators are poor without treatment and the vast majority of patients have improvement in their quality of life indicators after treatment for hyperhidrosis.