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Hyperhidrosis Living Life Survey Results
A Little Preamble
Individuals with focal hyperhidrosis understand the impact this condition has on their lifestyles. We discuss this in our Sweating Matters blog and under our Hyperhidrosis tab. In fact, it has been referred to as the 'Silent Handicap' because there is little awareness and understanding of the condition.
Interestingly, very few surveys have been conducted among individuals with hyperhidrosis. Some clinical studies have gathered data on the condition, but there are very few 'real life' (as opposed to clinical settings which can be influenced by medical personnel involved in the study) surveys that provide a totally unbiased perspective on the lives of people with hyperhidrosis.
We hope the results of this survey will help provide you with a sense of perspective on the condition. Of course, comments and observations are always welcome. Feel free to come back and visit as these results will periodically be updated according to the latest responses that we receive (in other words, the survey remains open).
Our Typical Respondent - Regions Affected
To start with, lets look at what regions are most affected among our respondents. Surprisingly, 62% of our respondents had excessive sweating in the facial area. Although data from medical literature often states that the region most affected is the underarms, this region accounted for about 48%. Keep in mind that the survey results cannot be extrapolated to the hyperhidrosis population in general as our sample is too small. Also, respondents could also report more that one region if that was the case. These data (see below) help to provide a clearer picture of our typical respondent.
More than 7 out of 10 indicated that their excessive sweating condition interferes 'very much' or 'a lot' with socializing. This result is in-line with the fact that hyperhidrosis is strongly associated with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD).
In a similar fashion, we asked how the condition interfered with established relationships (e.g friends, partners or relatives) in the last week or two. Almost 50% responded with interfering 'very much' or 'a lot'. Results are a little less dramatic here probably because affected individuals are dealing with people that are closer to them and likely have a better understanding of their condition.
Again, almost half (48%) mentioned that their condition interfered 'very much' or 'a lot' with participating in physical activities such as golf, hiking or biking.
When asked whether their excessive sweating interfered with these, only 15% said it never did. Half indicated that their hyperhidrosis interfered to a significant extent. One third mentioned that their condition was a nuisance.
* Data based on anonymously gathered results from the Dry Pharmacist's Living Life Survey. Reproduction or use of these data is strictly prohibited without written consent from the Dry Pharmacist.
Embarrassment / Self-Consciousness
A significant and rather distressing finding is the fact that a large proportion of individuals are self-conscious or embarrassed about their condition. More than 85% of individuals admitted that they experienced embarrassment or were self-conscious about their condition in the last two weeks prior to responding to our survey. This finding corroborates the significant impact that focal hyperhidrosis has on those with the condition.
So, in some way, shape or form, the condition is a problem in about 90% of subjects at work or school. This is a significant finding given the important role professional or academic activities play in our daily lives.
A slightly larger proportion experienced a little interference in this area of their lives. Almost 40% mentioned that the question was not pertinent. In other words, these individuals were unlikely to be involved with a partner and one can only speculate that the condition may be at the root of the lack of involvement in this area of their lives.
The balance of individuals, about 25%, said that their condition has little or no effect on what they decide to wear. Only in a very few, the condition did not affect their dressing decisions.
A Few Final Words
The results of this survey clearly indicate that focal hyperhidrosis is a dominant factor in the lives of those who have this condition. It is also very apparent that it plays a major role in how people feel and conduct themselves on a daily basis. We hope these results help you better understand and shed some light on your condition.
For the time being these results remain intermittent. In other words, our Living Life survey remains open and we will keep gathering data in efforts to corroborate our findings. In time, adjustments may be made to reflect any changes in our results.
Of course comments and observations are always welcome. We promise to respond and may anonymously post some of these on our Sweating Matters blog.