Distinguishing hyperhidrosis and normal physiological sweat production: new data and review of hyperhidrosis data for 1980–2013

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BackgroundHyperhidrosis is a condition in which the production of sweat is abnormally increased. No objective criteria for the diagnosis of hyperhidrosis exist, mainly because reference intervals for normal physiological sweat production at rest are unknown.ObjectiveThe main objective of this study was to establish reference intervals for normal physiological axillary and palmar sweat production.MethodsGravimetric testing was performed in 75 healthy control subjects. Subsequently, these results were compared with findings in a cohort of patients with hyperhidrosis and with the results derived from a review of data on hyperhidrosis published between 1980 and 2013.ResultsApproximately 90% of the controls had axillary and palmar sweat production rates of below 100 mg/5 min. In all except one of the axillary and palmar hyperhidrosis studies reviewed, average sweat production exceeded 100 mg/5 min.ConclusionsA sweat production rate of 100 mg/5 min as measured by gravimetric testing may be a reasonable cut-off value for distinguishing axillary and palmar hyperhidrosis from normal physiological sweat production.

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