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Experiences of men living with hyperhidrosis: Content analysis of interviews with 15 men suffering from primary hyperhidrosis
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Dermatology and Venerology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Dermatology and Venerology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Primary hyperhidrosisreduces quality of life and interferes with daily activities of those affected.Data regarding experiences of men living with this disease is scarce. The aimof this study was to explore men’s experiences of living with primaryhyperhidrosis. Interviews with 15 men were performed at the Department ofDermatology and Venereology, Umeå University Hospital. Thetranscripted data was analysed by qualitative content analysis. The analysisrevealed one theme: To be captured in a filthy body which was based on five categories and 12 sub-categories. In men with hyperhidrosis there is a daily struggle to hide or to manage the excessive sweatingand the disease was associated with being unclean or filthy. Insufficientunderstanding from others and reminders of the symptoms can be stressful,contribute to a lower self-esteem and make the individual resign fore theillness. The disease is stigmatising and has a negative effect on daily life. Menwith hyperhidrosis also experienced a lack of understanding when they discussedthe sweating problems with family members. Our results reinforce publishedquantitative studies showing that the disease has an impact on the mentalhealth of those affected. It is unknown if women are approached in a differentway by family or society in case of disclosure. Further research in women couldreveal and possibly explain the disparity that exists between the genders in seekinghealthcare. Meanwhile public education and informing children at school, at anage when the disease debuts could decrease stigmatisation and increase thewillingness to seek professional help.

National Category
Dermatology and Venereal Diseases
Research subject
Public health; Caring Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-145945OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-145945DiVA, id: diva2:1192563
Funder
Västerbotten County CouncilAvailable from: 2018-03-22 Created: 2018-03-22 Last updated: 2018-06-09
In thesis
1. Primary hyperhidrosis: prevalence and impacts for the individual
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Primary hyperhidrosis: prevalence and impacts for the individual
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Primary hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, is a condition with unknown prevalence in many parts of the world. The disease debuts in adolescence and it affects men and women in equal proportions. A genetic background exists and the most common localisation on the body for excessive sweating is the axillary region. It is known that primary hyperhidrosis reduces quality of life and interferes with daily activities. Affected individuals often hide their sweating problems and the disease may lead to social withdrawal and isolation. Although botulinum toxin is an effective and available treatment, relatively few persons with primary hyperhidrosis seek medical healthcare and a minority of those are men.

We investigated the prevalence of primary hyperhidrosis in Sweden and how the disease impairs quality of life, changes in daily activities, signs of depression and anxiety and alcohol consumption before and after treatment with botulinum toxin. The severity of hyperhidrosis according to the affected body sites was also investigated. Further on we explored mens experiences living with primary hyperhidrosis by interviews and content analysis.

Our results showed that primary hyperhidrosis occurs in 5.5% of the Swedish population. The disease reduces quality of life and affects mainly the psychological health of the individuals. Persons with palmar and axillary hyperhidrosis rated their symptoms more severe and with much higher impact on their quality of life compared to persons suffering from hyperhidrosis elswhere on the body. Individuals with axillary hyperhidrosis more often reported a later debut and signs of peripheral vasoconstrictions were more common in this group compared to individuals with palmar hyperhidrosis. This made us believe that factors other than genetics seem to play a role in triggering axillary hyperhidrosis. Treatment with botulinum toxin A had a significant effect in reducing the symptoms and their interferences on daily life while increasing the overall quality of life. Signs of depression, stress and anxiety were also significantly reduced by treatment. This treatment was safe and no serious side-effects were noted. Qualitative content analysis of interviews with 15 men suffering from primary hyperhidrosis resulted in the theme: To be captured in a filthy body. The experiences of men with excessive sweating were thus interpreted as stigmatising. Stigma has a negative effect on mental health which reinforces our findings in quantitative studies when investigating quality of life. It is our assumption that the symptoms act as a vicious circle reducing quality of life, stigmatising the individual and limiting daily interactions. Addressing hyperhidrosis with information when the disease debuts in young people could reduce the stigma and enable early intervention via healthcare which may have a significant effect on the life of those affected.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2018. p. 49
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1940
Keywords
primary hyperhidrosis, prevalence, characteristics, localization, quality of life, botulinum toxin, depression and anxiety, stigma, content analysis
National Category
Dermatology and Venereal Diseases
Research subject
Dermatology and Venerology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-145946 (URN)978-91-7601-822-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-04-20, Lionsalen, NUS, byggnad 7, målpunkt Y22, Umeå, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Västerbotten County Council
Available from: 2018-03-28 Created: 2018-03-22 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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