Daily pattern of sweating and response to stress and exercise in patients with palmar hyperhidrosis.
Krogstad AL., Mork C., Piechnik SK.
BACKGROUND: Focal hyperhidrosis is an embarrassing condition that can have a significant negative impact on patient quality of life. It is characterized by excessive sweating affecting a variety of areas, including the palms. Little is known about the daily pattern of sweating in patients with palmar hyperhidrosis. OBJECTIVES: To compare the variation of sweating in patients with primary palmar hyperhidrosis with healthy individuals during daily activities. METHODS: Twenty patients with primary palmar hyperhidrosis and 20 healthy age- and sex-matched subjects were studied. Each participant self-assessed rates of sweating for 7 days on an hourly basis using a subjective evaluation scale (SES) ranging from 0 to 10. RESULTS: The 3763 assessments showed clear differences between patients and healthy controls (median SES score 5 and 0, respectively; P < 0.0001). Stress and exercise significantly increased SES by scores of 2-5 in both groups, with stress influencing patients more than controls. SES scores in patients varied significantly, from 0 to 2 during mornings and evenings, and between 5 and 6 at mid-day, while scores in control subjects remained consistently close to 0. The pattern of change depended weakly on sex and weekday/weekend distinction. Dynamic responses to stress and exercise in patients had the tendency to return to baseline more slowly than in controls. CONCLUSIONS: Hourly changes in sweating rates can be assessed successfully through self-assessment. Patients with primary palmar focal hyperhidrosis reported significantly increased palmar sweating and daily patterns of sweating showing considerable variation dependent on factors such as time of day and emotional stimuli.