Epidemiological Profile and Quality of Life of Medicine Students with Primary Hyperhidrosis

ABSTRACT Hyperhidrosis is the excessive production of sweat by the body, which can be primary or secondary and generalized or localized. The craniofacial, axillary, palmar, dorsum, inner thigh, and plantar regions are commonly affected. Primary hyperhidrosis (HP), although a benign disease, has an imminent negative impact on the patient’s quality of life. This disease is quantitatively classified according to the Hyperhidrosis Disease Severity Scale, based on how the disease affects daily activities, ranging from mild to severe intensity. Medical undergraduate students face physical and emotional stressful situations during their tasks, and when they have a chronic illness such as HP, they can be stigmatized as unsafe for their profession. The objective was to define HP prevalence, diagnostic criteria, severity and impact on the quality of life in the professional and extracurricular scenario of undergraduate medical students. This is a cross-sectional quantitative study of a descriptive nature, including 300 students from the Tiradentes University medical school, in Aracaju-SE, from August to November 2017. Absolute and relative frequencies were used in the case of categorical variables and measures of central tendency and variability were used for numerical variables; p value was considered significant when p <0.05. The prevalence of HP in medical students was 18%, with no difference between the genders and with the predominance of white and brown ethnicities. The disease occurred mainly in combined sites, such as palmar-plantar, with the palmar region being the most affected one. The symptoms began mainly during childhood and adolescence, with significant impairment in daily personal and work activities, with disease exacerbation under stress situations. The most common HP severity was moderate, with a negative impact on quality of life, mainly reported at the more advanced stages of the disease, hindering academic activities. It is important to include the knowledge of HP in the medical curriculum for a greater dissemination of information on the disease, allowing its early diagnosis and related to the intensity of sweating in its therapeutic approach.