Excessive sweating ‘tightly linked’ to depression, anxiety

Excessive sweating ‘tightly linked’ to depression, anxiety

- in Editorial / Review



A new study has shown that people who sweat excessively may be more prone to anxiety and depression.

Excessive sweating, medically known as hyperhidrosis, is a medical condition that causes people to sweat excessively and unpredictably – even when they’re at rest or in cool conditions.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

According to Healthday Reporter, about 21 percent of people who took part in the study tested positive for anxiety and 27 percent screened positive for depression.

“For people who don’t have hyperhidrosis, it’s easy to think, ‘Oh, it’s just sweating. The impact it can have on quality of life has always been underestimated,” said Dee Glaser, professor of dermatology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

He said the study had not proven if hyperhidrosis caused those mental health issues. “It’s not clear if this is cause-and-effect,” he said.

Speaking in a similar vein, Youwen Zhou, director of the Vancouver Hyperhidrosis Clinic at the University of British Columbia, Canada, along with his colleagues, carried out a research on whether overt depression and anxiety disorders are especially common among people with hyperhidrosis.

The doctors carried out a study on over 2,000 patients at two dermatology clinics (Canada and China) to answer questionnaires that screen for depression and generalised anxiety disorder.

Results showed that although the conditions were more common among hyperhidrosis patients, the risk was higher when their sweating problems were more severe.

“This study suggests that hyperhidrosis is tightly linked to depression and anxiety,” Zhou said while adding that the research doesn’t necessarily mean that hyperhidrosis is the cause of these mental illnesses.

Consequently, dermatologists are implored to be aware of the higher prevalence of anxiety and depression in sweaty patients and if possible, refer them to a mental health professional.

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