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Social Media and Hyperhidrosis: Facts vs Fiction


Although like count was down for posts from physicians, researchers also found an increase in share count, indicating a higher rate of reliability.

Renata Block, MMS, PA-C

Renata Block, MMS, PA-C

Dermatology is no stranger to social media, with creators sharing both helpful and harmful information regarding skin care and products to an audience of over 1 billion monthly users. Renata Block, MMS, PA-C, board-certified physician assistant at SKIN Dermatology in Munster, Indiana, and Dermatology Times Editorial Advisory Board member, shared her insights on her social media outlook after a recent study aimed to analyze the content, quality, and reliability of TikTok’s most popular hyperhidrosis videos.1 She shared background information with Dermatology Times below on the condition, its prevalence on consumer social media feeds, and the professional responsibility to combat misconceptions.


Hyperhidrosis can have a significant effect on the psychosocial aspect of an individual. With over 15 million Americans and almost 5% of the population in the United States suffering from the disease, treatment options continue to rise.2 Social media can have substantial effects on what people choose to treat their hyperhidrosis with, and unfortunately, may be led down the wrong path with influencers creating "Do It Yourself" (DIY) remedies that can do more harm than good.These "quick fixes" or "miracle cures," as investigators call them, for hyperhidrosis and other skin diseases run rampant on many platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. After an analysis of content, researchers concluded that their reliability is questionable and should not be followed as risks can be associated with these recommended remedies or products.

Real-World Effects

In the study conducted by Patil et al, researchers found the top 100 videos under #hyperhidrosis had 201 million views, 12.8 million likes, and 176 thousand shares. Creators were identified by researchers as primarily non-healthcare workers (44%), private companies (32%), and some physicians (20%). They recognized that although physicians received a higher share count, their likes underperformed when compared to private companies.1

A few examples of DIY remedies include concoctions that apply lemon juice, tomato juice, potato slices, apple cider vinegar, lime juice mixed with sea salt crystals, and other "natural" products to the area to reduce the incidence of sweating. These are unreliable and can cause irritant contact dermatitis to the skin, which is prevalent at the dermatology clinic. However, it is noted that many people who are suffering from hyperhidrosis are posting about Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatments such as iontophoresis, neuromodulator injections, and other modalities, which was a relief when using #hyperhidrosis. Reliable posts like these are getting a lot of views and create a realistic treatment option for many suffering from the disease. Nonetheless, what was lacking in all messages is that no modality works for everyone, and there isn't a "miracle cure" for the disease. The side effects of any FDA-approved treatments can't be understated, and as with any therapy, one must know the potential risks.

Combatting Misconceptions

As with any medical condition, dermatology professionals can expect many misconceptions trending on social media. Patients come into the clinic with frustrations about the treatments attempted with DIY modalities and even side effects that resulted from trying. These are a few myths and misconceptions as listed by the International Hyperhidrosis Society:

1. Antiperspirants, powders and towels are the only way to deal with sweat.

2. Antiperspirants are best used in the morning.

3. It's not that important to treat hyperhidrosis.3

Non-profit groups such as the International Hyperhidrosis Society are essential to use as a reference when disseminating information to the public to prevent false information about this medical condition that is deemed serious and can seriously affect someone's quality of life.3 This will give someone suffering from the disease a reliable resource if they have more questions about the medical condition.

Professional Responsibility

As dermatology professionals, researchers in this study wrote that all should make it a priority to partner with non-profit organizations and be proactive on social media to guide people on the right path to treatment, as a recent poster presented at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) in San Diego in March of 2024 found that palmer/planter hyperhidrosis may be underdiagnosed; the most common co-morbidity being atopic dermatitis and acne, a higher prevalence of hyperhidrosis in African Americans and that more education is needed about primary hyperhidrosis as only 80% of people with "moderate disease" are getting treatment.4 

Being active in the community and providing reliable resources are extremely important. As Patil et al stated, social media is a powerful tool for health literacy when used in the correct ways. Researchers recommended that professionals, especially physicians, create social media posts to combat those spreading misinformation and improve the overall accuracy of information online about hyperhidrosis.1


  1. Patil MK, Naik A, Chappidi R, et al. Dermatology in social media: A cross-sectional analysis of trending hyperhidrosis content on TikTok. Skin Res Technol. 30: e13734. https://doi.org/10.1111/srt.13734
  2. Parashar K, Adlam T, Potts G. The impact of hyperhidrosis on quality of Llife: A review of the literature. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2023 Mar;24(2):187-198. doi: 10.1007/s40257-022-00743-7.
  3. Fact check: Hyperhidrosis treatments. International Hyperhidrosis Society. November 20, 1970. Accessed June 25, 2024. https://www.sweathelp.org/home/news-blog/543-fact-check-hyperhidrosis-treatments.html.
  4. Abdel Azim S, Whiting C, McCormick E, et al. Primary hyperhidrosis: An update on epidemiology and disease severity. Presented at: 2024 American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting; March 8-12, 2024; San Diego, CA.
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