The Hyperhidrosis Market

Hyperhidrosis is a skin disorder of chronic excessive sweating beyond what is necessary for thermoregulation of the body. Current estimates show that primary hyperhidrosis affects approximately 4.8% of the US population, or roughly 15.3 million people, with prevalence highest among 8.8% of the US population ages 18—39.1

Hyperhidrosis is caused by an overactive cholinergic response of the sweating glands and can occur on various areas of the body including the axilla (underarms), hands, feet, and face. Occurrence of hyperhidrosis is greatest in the underarms, with 65% of patients reporting uncontrolled sweating of the axilla, followed by craniofacial (42%), palmar (40%) and plantar (38%) sweating. Overall, 70% of patients report excessive sweating that is severe and intolerable in at least one body area.

Hyperhidrosis sufferers are in need of a safe and well-tolerated first line treatment for hyperhidrosis, with several studies demonstrating that excessive sweating often disrupts normal daily activities and results in major occupational, emotional, psychological, social and physical impairment. Overall, 85% of individuals with hyperhidrosis feel that their sweating is very embarrassing, with 71% experiencing anxiety due to sweating. Hyperhidrosis continues to be underreported and underdiagnosed, with over 50% of patients never discussing their sweating with a health care professional due to the belief that hyperhidrosis is not a medical condition and that nothing can be done to treat the disease.

 

The market for products to control sweating is large and highly underpenetrated by prescription pharmaceutical products. More specifically, of the patients who seek treatment from a physician, most commonly receive prescription topical antiperspirants as a first-line option; however, their use is limited by modest efficacy and skin irritation, particularly in patients with more severe disease. As second-line alternatives, patients are directed to more invasive treatment regimens and procedures that aim to block, destroy or remove the sweat glands. Such treatment options have limitations in their efficacy and duration of effect, are invasive, costly, and may result in significant side effects.

Accordingly, we believe that the lack of diagnosis and available treatment options present a substantial market opportunity for a new, effective, well-tolerated topical hyperhidrosis treatment, and that such a therapy could not only further penetrate the segment of patients who currently seek treatment from a physician, but encourage more patients to seek treatment.

 

1 Doolittle J, Walker P, Mills T, Thurston J. Hyperhidrosis: an update on prevalence and severity in the United States. Arch Dermatol Res. 2016;308:743-749.