Hyperhidrosis May Up Risk for Anxiety, Depression and ADD

Hyperhidrosis May Up Risk for Anxiety Depression and ADD image

Individuals with hyperhidrosis are more to have anxiety, depression and attention deficit disorder, according to new research presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) 2019 Annual Meeting in Washington.

Of the 500 hyperhidrosis patients involved in the study, 13.8 percent had anxiety, 12.4 percent had depression and 6.4 percent had ADD — all rates higher than those reported in the general population.

These findings held regardless of gender or age, said study author Dee Anna Glaser, MD, FAAD, a professor, interim chair and director of clinical research and aesthetic and laser surgery in the department of dermatology at St. Louis University School of Medicine.

While the severity of patients’ hyperhidrosis and the body location involved didn’t impact the likelihood of having a mental health condition, there was a correlation with the number of body locations affected by hyperhidrosis.

“To some degree was I surprised, but based on what I was hearing in my clinics, I wasn’t,” Dr. Glaser says. “I am a little surprised at just how prevalent this is.”

Dr. Glaser said she was most surprised by the association between hyperhidrosis and ADD. “I honestly don’t know what to make of it,” she says. “I think we need to look into that more and connect with individuals who have experience with ADD and together understand what that link may be.”

According to Dr. Glaser, the nature of the relationship between hyperhidrosis and mental health conditions is not yet clear. While more research will be necessary to evaluate this relationship, she says, it’s important for patients and doctors to be aware of this potential connection.

“We need to proactively ask our patients with hyperhidrosis if they suffer with or have symptoms of anxiety, depression or ADD,” she says. “We can let them know that’s pretty common and help them find care from the appropriate professionals.”

Dr. Glaser says this is especially important because the onset of hyperhidrosis tends to occur in the teen and early adult years. “This population can be vulnerable to mental health conditions,” she says. “Often they feel isolated and feel they’re the only ones with these problems.”

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