Hyperhidrosis and Genetics
As far as we know, genetics plays a major role in the cause of hyperhidrosis. Numerous studies, based on a large number of cases, have shown a genetic history in more than 50% of the patients with hyperhidrosis. This fact alone is enough of an indication that the basis for this problem is a genetic one. Researchers in China have found the location of the gene that affects this condition. Unfortunately, gene manipulation or gene treatment is still a long way off from being able to be used as a therapeutic measure. Dr. Reisfeld has treated and interviewed thousands of hyperhidrosis patients over the years and has seen this genetic pattern in more than half of his patients. Dr. Reisfeld is one of the most experienced and respected hyperhidrosis surgeons in the world.
The data which includes the 50% + incidence rate is likely to be higher since many people tend to not share, or are unaware of the condition within their family. Hyperhidrosis can be an embarrassing condition, making it more likely to not be talked about. A patient may be unaware that they have an uncle, aunt, or grandparent, etc who suffer from the condition.
Most of the patients who report some family history will more frequently say it is from the mother’s side of the family. We have conducted an informal poll on our website, and the results greatly support this statement. The exact genetic transmission modes are not completely understood due to the fact that gene effects are so complicated. Even with immense progress completed in this field of medicine, professionals are still not completely clear on the gene effects for hyperhidrosis.
The basic fact about the transmission of the gene which is responsible for hyperhidrosis is that many factors are involved in developing a full picture of hyperhidrosis with sweaty dripping hands to the less prominent features.
It should be understood that the full expression of any illness is not simply depending upon one or two factors. We have 23 pairs of chromosomes but the amount of information that they contain is almost incomprehensible, so this is why members of the same family do not always present with the same clinical picture.
Major advances have been made in genetic research. However, due to the benign nature of hyperhidrosis, fewer efforts by drug companies and researchers have been made to solve this issue so far. We hope this changes in the future.