The popular belief used to be that sweating is a physiological phenomenon that should be respected even when it causes physical and psychological discomfort. It follows that the number of people seeking for assistance is far less than expected. Many people suffering from hyperhidrosis (HH) are embarrassed to reveal their problem even to their closest friend. There is no predilection among men and women even though women seek more often advice for this problem.
The incidence of HH is higher among children, teenagers and young adults. It was estimated that roughly 1% of the population suffered from HH. Less than 10% of these suffer from generalized HH while the great majority suffers from localized HH which may involve the axillae the feet and the hands, in that order of frequency.
Rarely, the forehead and the groins are also involved. 25 % of individuals affected with palmar or plantar HH have also axillary HH. Family history is often positive. A survey in 2004 indicated that the prevalence of HH in the U.S. population was 2.8% but a recent one in 2016 reported it as 4.8%
Over 60% of these cases never consulted their health care provider. The survey also revealed that armpits are affected in about 50% of the cases while the hands in only 25%.
Nine out of ten North Americans use an antiperspirant or deodorant on a daily basis. Severe HH fails to respond to these preparations.