Carpe Lotion for Sweaty Hands and Feet

I’ve tried nearly everything to treat my hyperhidrosis. So when I came across a new product called Carpe Lotion for sweaty hands and feet, I was excited to try it. At only $14.95 a tube with a love it or it’s free guarantee, I figured why not?

Carpe Lotion tube

Ingredients

The lotion is made with eucalyptus oil, which dries the surface layer of your skin as you apply it. The active ingredient, aluminum sesquichlorohydate, soaks into your sweat glands to calm them down. When I tried the lotion for the first time, I was skeptical about whether it would actually work. I’ve been told by a dermatologist that I have the worst case of hyperhidrosis he’s ever seen. Once my little package arrived in the mail, I tore into it and was ready to find some dryness.

Application

The makers of Carpe Lotion suggest you apply it about 10 minutes before you think you’ll need it. I was at work the first time I used it, and my sweating is usually the worst first thing in the morning. I washed my hands and applied a pea-sized amount just like the directions suggested. As I rubbed my palms together vigorously, they started to smell fresh and clean from the eucalyptus oil. I waved my hands back and forth to help dry them off, as applying lotion to my palms is a trigger for me and makes me want to sweat more. Once my palms were dry, they had a slight coating on them, but it wasn’t anything too strange.

Results

About an hour later, I noticed my palms looked dry and cracked, even though they actually weren’t. In fact, my hands were so dry I almost WANTED to put lotion on them, which is abnormal for most people with hyperhidrosis.

hands after Carpe Lotion application

My hands after applying Carpe Lotion.

The lotion lasted through several hand washings, and it continued to provide me with dryness the whole day. I’ve also experimented with applying it at night before bed, just like the International Hyperhidrosis Society recommends for underarm antiperspirants. Why? Because your body temperature drops overnight, and the active ingredient can be better absorbed into the skin to form the “plugs” that block the sweat ducts.

I also experimented with applying the lotion while in public. I’m sitting at a coffee shop blogging right now, so I whipped out the Carpe Lotion tube from my purse and, gasp! applied lotion to my palms without the aid of a towel or sink nearby. This, of course, made my hands sweat as I was rubbing them together. It took me a little bit longer to get my hands dry again, but now they’re just fine, and I can feel the layer of product on my skin. I am dry typing this as you read. Yay!

I plan to try this on my feet next, so I’ll let you know how that goes.

Conclusion? Carpe Lotion works, and it’s affordable. Mad props to co-founder Kasper for discussing the product with me and inventing something that, I’ll be damned, actually works. You rock!

Hyperhidrosis & Pedicures

The Travesty of the Situation

I’m 36 years old and have never had a pedicure. Preposterous, right? Not for those who consistently worry about their sweaty feet! I’ve been afraid to let someone touch my feet because 80% of the time they are sweating. However, my best friend decided it had been long enough, so she treated me to my first-ever pedicure. So, nervous yet excited, I let her lead me into a situation that was outside of my comfort zone. I recommend doing one thing every day that scares you, so today this was it for me.

life begins at the end of your comfort zone

I had no idea, but at most spas the person giving you a pedicure wears latex gloves, so they can’t even tell that your feet are sweating. This was so reassuring for me, as I didn’t have to apologize in advance for the way my body behaves.

Adapting to the Environment

I sat down in the chair and placed my feet in the basin of water. It was lukewarm and had a spa bubble thingy in it to help generate a whirlpool of relaxation. Then I noticed the chair I was sitting in had a remote control peeking out from the back corner. I started messing with it and realized it was a massage chair. Let me tell you, these things are heavenly. I laid back and let it do its thing, all the while still worried about what would happen when it was time to take my feet out of the water.

whirlpool pedicure

My feet in a whirlpool pedicure for the first time ever.

After about 15 minutes, the lady came over and placed a towel on the ledge at the base of the chair. She gently took my feet out of the water and placed them on the towel. We all know that towels are a sweater’s best friend, especially terry cloth towels as they tend to be more absorbent. I felt comfortable with my feet on the towel, since my sweat was supported in a sense.

She gently patted my feet dry and began applying a gel that helps slough off callouses. If you’ve never had this done before, prepare to be appalled. I thought my feet were in pretty good shape, but when she took a cheese-grater-looking thing to my heels I wanted to vomit based on how much of my skin was coming off. It didn’t hurt when she did this; it was just a different type of feeling on my heels.

Getting Up Close and Personal

Once my feet were scraped clean, she trimmed my cuticles and shaped my toenails. She didn’t have much toe maintenance to perform, since I’ve always trimmed and painted them myself for fear of my stupid hyperhidrosis grossing other people out. Then she reached for the nail polish bottles I had picked out when I first walked in – a beautiful teal green like a peacock’s feather followed by a topcoat of gold glitter for extra sass.

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Adding a finishing touch of polish after she slipped my flip flops back on.

Keep in mind she still had her gloves on, so I had no fear that she would discover my wet secret. Here’s the shocker, though: MY FEET WERE DRY, PEOPLE. I know what you’re thinking, ’cause I was thinking the same thing. I’ll be damned. I can do what normal people can do. I leaned over in my seat and looked at my BFF.

“Dude. Why did you let me avoid this for so long?!” I said.

“Right? I told you!” she laughed.

That Little Limiting Voice

How many things have you avoided because of excessive sweating? How much in life are you missing out on because the voice in your head convinces you that you can’t do it?  It’s time to tell that voice to STFU. I walked out of the salon feeling so relaxed and powerful. I had conquered a fear of mine. It may seem small to some, but it was huge to me.

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A pedicure calls for new sandals, complete with Summer Soles insoles!

So here’s my challenge to you: go and get a pedicure, guys and gals alike. I haven’t quite worked up to a manicure yet, and I’m not sure I will. The polish chips too quickly on my hands, so I’m not sure it’s worth it for me. But the pedicures definitely are, especially if you get a glittery topcoat. Mine lasted almost a month, and I’ve gotten a second pedicure since. The second time the lady noticed my feet were sweating, but I just brushed it off and said, “Yeah, my feet sweat a lot.” I’m sure I’m not the first person she’s encountered whose feet were a little wet.

So, go do it and then leave a comment below letting me know how it went.

Cheers, sweaty peeps!

P.S. Use the code IHHS for buy one individually packaged pair, get one free at summersoles.com. You’re welcome, and thanks to the International Hyperhidrosis Society for partnering with them.

 

 

 

 

Best Yoga Products for Hyperhidrosis

This post is dedicated to Meagan, one of my readers. Sweet girl, you are not alone in your sweaty life.

Are you one of those people who think you can’t do certain types of physical activity/exercise because there aren’t products that are sweat friendly to help you cope with your hyperhidrosis? Think again! Let’s talk about yoga.

Best Yoga Mat for Sweaty Hands and Feet

I spent hours searching online for the best yoga mat that would prevent me from slipping and sliding all over the place. Here’s the one I bought:

Gaiam Sol Soft Grip Yoga Mat

Gaiam Sol Soft Grip Yoga Mat

I’ve used this mat while doing yoga in the rainforest where it’s extra humid. Okay, that makes me sound like a jet-setter. I did yoga at a butterfly pavilion, which is kinda the same thing. This mat gave me good traction so I could actually focus on the yoga and not my sweating.

Best Yoga Towel for Sweat

For days when I’m having a really hard time controlling my sweating, I like to use a yoga towel on top of my mat. This one also works as a travel mat and folds up nice and neat so you can throw it in a suitcase. The microfiber provides extra grip and absorbs the sweat really well so you can practice your asanas with confidence. It’s also machine washable so you can get the nasty off.

Gaiam No-Slip Yoga Towel

Gaiam No-Slip Yoga Towel

Hand and Foot Covers for Sweat

For extra sweat protection, you can try these grippy gloves and socks. I personally feel like I do better when my feet are bare and exposed to the air, but you can start out with socks if they help you to feel more confident (like when you’re in mountain pose with your feet firmly planted). They come in cute Mary Jane styles (both open-toe and full-toe) and also more manly versions for the sweaty guys out there – hey, dudes!

ToeSox Grippy Half-Toe Bella Socks

ToeSox Grippy Half-Toe Bella Socks

Gaiam No-Slip Yoga Socks

Gaiam No-Slip Yoga Socks

These grippy gloves are perfect for poses like downward dog when your hands are supporting a lot of your weight and are more likely to slip and slide.

Gaiam-Grippy-Yoga-Gloves

Gaiam Grippy Yoga Gloves

More good news: in addition to the Gaiam website, you can now find select Gaiam yoga items in Kohl’s department stores.

Yoga on Gaiam TV

Still not ready to venture outside of your sweat box and expand your horizons by taking a yoga class in a studio or gym? That’s okay. You can do yoga any time, anywhere with My Yoga on Gaiam TV. A subscription to this online streaming service is only 99 cents for the first month, and then $9.95 month thereafter. I’ve done many of these yoga videos in my living room when no one else is around. There’s a great beginner series on their website, too, if you’re just starting out with yoga. And, it’s not just yoga that you can watch. They have a ton of inspirational films, documentaries, and original shows that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s like Netflix, only way cooler. Plus, they have free content like articles and yoga poses.

The other neat thing about Gaiam TV is that you can download your favorite content to your device and then take it with you. This is great for yoga because as you get comfortable doing it in your living room first, you can then experiment with it in the park, your hotel when you’re traveling, indoors in a high school gym, etc. This is perfect for those with hyperhidrosis since we like to test and adapt to our environments. The more control we have over our surroundings, the better we can manage our sweating, right?

Yoga to Retrain Your Nervous System

Yoga actually restores and resets your nervous system. It calms you down. So when our sympathetic nervous system is constantly in overdrive and behaving in the fight-or-flight mode, we sweat, and way more than others because our eccrine glands are constantly in the “on” mode. The sympathetic nervous system acts like a thermostat, and it’s hard to turn it down in those with hyperhidrosis.

This is where the parasympathetic nervous system comes into play. This is the system we want to tap into to produce calm in our bodies. When we open the energy channel of the parasympathetic nervous system, we can tune into ourselves and stop worrying about our excessive sweating problem because we’re becoming one with the moment. Sounds lofty, I know, but I have done yoga classes where I am completely dry by the time I arrive at shavasana (corpse pose). I’ve left the class wanting to cry tears of joy for experiencing an activity dry like “normal” people do all the time.

So, stop making those BS excuses as to why you think you can’t try yoga and be sweaty at the same time. If you’re extra worried, do a hot yoga class where everyone is sweating right alongside you and you can better blend in. After all, you’ve got the products now to help you.

(Note: I was not paid for this post nor did I receive any products for free. I simply took the time to find what I needed to make my life as a puddle a bit easier. It’s all about asking – and looking – for what you need in order to live a drier life.)

Read More About Yoga and Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis & Yoga

Hyperhidrosis & Yoga (Round 2)

The Best Shirt for Underarm Sweating

I flashed two coworkers the other day. No, really. I had to. They were talking about underarm sweating, so I simply had to lift up my sweater and flash them my pits so that they could see how well protected and dry they were. It’s the dead of winter right now where I live, so dry pits under a heavy sweater is kind of a big deal. Let me tell you about this new dryness.

Women’s Hydro-Shield Bamboo Slim Fit

I’ve talked about The Thompson Tee before. President Billy Thompson’s latest design is a slim fit shirt for women with hyperhidrosis (or those who may just be extra sweaty) that is less like a T-shirt and more like a cute girly tee. It’s perfect for wearing underneath sweaters and long sleeved shirts, yet it looks nice enough that you could wear it under a blazer or other business attire. It’s not bulky, although the underarm sections are a bit thicker than the rest of the shirt. This area is where the magic happens.

I’ve tested this shirt out several times under a sweater, a sweatshirt, and when doing yoga to really make sure it works. In all of these sweat fest categories, the product delivers on dryness. It’s also super soft and comfortable to wear. The thicker pit sections take a little bit of getting used to, but after awhile you stop noticing it. These shirts run a bit small, so if you don’t want a super snug fit then order one size up.

Product Features

  • Form fitting women’s sweat proof shirt, silhouette with a deep scoopneck
  • 95% ultra soft, lightweight, premium bamboo/5% spandex* (exclusive of Hydro-Shield area)
  • Tagless collar for comfort
  • Stays tucked in with added length
  • Machine washable and dryable
  • Proprietary sweat-proof barrier blocks armpit sweat from passing through, while allowing body heat and perspiration to escape as vapor
  • Fights odor with anti-microbial and hypoallergenic properties
  • Integrated design provides sleek, stylish, and consistent look and feel
  • Made in the U.S.A. quality guaranteed

 

Thompson-Tee-Bamboo

Get 10% off your order with the code IHS2015, thanks to the International Hyperhidrosis Society.

Thompson-Tee-Bamboo-2 Thompson-Tee-Bamboo-3

The new women’s bamboo Thompson Tee is the new hotness. As in the kind where you can feel cute and confident, not sweaty and insecure.

Want more info? Read my other posts about the Thompson Tee.

 

(Note: I was not paid for this product review. I am simply sharing the sweat love with you in the hopes that you, too, can find pockets of dryness in your otherwise sweaty life.)

 

 

The Thompson Tee – Thanksgiving Promo

If you are looking for a shirt to wear that’s sweat-friendly, doesn’t show pit stains, and actually keeps you cooler as you sweat, then you need to check out the Thompson Tee. Right now, from November 21-28, you can get one for 20 percent off using the code president Billy Thompson created just for you, My Life as a Puddle readers. That code is Puddle2014.

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I’ve got several of these shirts myself, both the men’s and the women’s versions, so I’ve personally tested these out and done things like shovel snow in a fleece sweatshirt and winter coat. You know, stuff that really makes you sweat under all those layers. These shirts work!

A few of my favorite things about the Thompson Tee:

  • they are made in the good old USA
  • 30 days risk-free – wear it, wash it, try it
  • earth-friendly manufacturing process that doesn’t produce VOCs
  • they are comfortable underneath dress clothes – button-down shirts, blazers, and suit coats.

And, I correspond regularly with the president of the company to give him feedback on these products. What’s better than firsthand experience from someone with sweaty underarms?

So grab ’em while the price is hot and before YOU get hot.

Go to www.thompsontee.com and enter code Puddle2014 for 20 percent off. Let me know what you think.

A new bamboo/Spandex version is also available now, too, so I’m looking forward to trying one of these next.

Want more info? Read my other posts about the Thompson Tee.

Hyperhidrosis and Oprah

Last month, I flew to Houston to attend Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend. It was amazing. While I didn’t get to be up close and personal with Oprah herself, I still saw her from the big screen as she spoke to the audience about creating a bigger and better life for yourself. Oprah gave the keynote address on Friday evening, and then on Saturday she was joined onstage by Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Rob Bell.

Before the big event that first night, I went to O Town, a pop-up town square with interactive booths. I’m glad I went as soon as it opened, because the entire thing was outside. In Houston. With humidity. Not cool for someone who has a sweating condition.

 

Entering O Town at Oprah's The Life You Want Weekend

Entering O Town at Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend

 

One of the stops in O Town was the Toyota booth. Here, you could decorate a journal using scrapbook paper and tons of accessories. The line was pretty long by the time I joined, so I had to stand in the sun for a long time before the line moved inside the tent. Once I got out of the sun, I realized there wasn’t any air flow inside the tent. 🙄

The journal decorating area consisted of leather couches and stools and was in the back corner of the tent, even farther away from any of the air that had managed to creep inside the periphery of the tent. I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to be able to decorate my journal. Sitting down on the leather furniture when I was already sticky from the heat combined with sharing scissors, glue and everything else with a bunch of other people was no bueno for my puddle life. So, I stood in line long enough to grab my journal and a few pieces of decorative paper, and then I hightailed it out of that stagnant, muggy tent, deciding I’d finish my journal when I got home and could control my environment.

The journal I was supposed to decorate but couldn't because of my sweaty hands.

The journal I was supposed to decorate but couldn’t because of my sweaty hands.

 

After the failed journal line, I made my way over to the Oil of Olay booth, where I got a mini makeover by a makeup artist. Oprah’s camera crew was there and filmed me while I was in the makeup chair. 🙂

Getting a makeover while Oprah's film crew put the camera on me.

Getting a makeover while Oprah’s film crew put the camera on me.

 

Once I made the rounds at each booth, I could tell I was getting dehydrated from the sun and all the sweating I was trying so desperately NOT to do. At least I had the foresight to snag a washcloth from the hotel room on my way out the door. I stuffed it in my purse and used it discreetly every now and then to wipe off my hands. I also grabbed a flyer from the IKEA booth, which I used to fan myself and block the sun when I was in line. It was time to say peace out to Oprah and escape to an air-conditioned restaurant for some lunch.

That night in the arena, I was fine sweat-wise and could take notes without any problems. I, of course, brought my sweat-friendly notebook and favorite pen to minimize any sweat marks and paper curling (read more about paper and pens for hyperhidrosis). I also got a fabulous handout from Oprah that I used as part of creating a new vision statement for my life. It’s important to check in with yourself on a regular basis and analyze whether your life is going in the direction you desire (like when this crazy thing happened to me). If it’s not, it’s time to re-frame your life and choose different thoughts. Your thoughts create your life.

As I went through the exercises with my favorite life teacher, Oprah, I could see where I was headed with my new vision statement (read more about stepping outside of your hyperhidrosis). While I won’t share it all here, I will tell you that it includes no longer talking to myself in the self-deprecating voice that is reserved for me; I can be my own worst enemy. How many of you have a sweaty inner monologue like I do? It goes something like this: You’re disgusting. Look at the sweaty mess you are. You’d better apologize as soon as someone notices your sweat. You can’t do this, this, or this because of your stupid hyperhidrosis. Why did this happen to me? I’m not good enough. I wish I could be like everyone else and live in a dry world.

Sound familiar? Why do we do this to ourselves? Compare our sweaty lives to the lives of others? Act like we’re less than, freakish, an embarrassment? You, and I, are exactly enough just as we are. So sit with yourself awhile – sweaty hands, feet, armpits, groin, or wherever it is that you sweat – and love yourself through it. Accept and allow who and how you are to come forth. Yes, we want a cure for our excessive sweating and yes, we’ll never give up hope and will keep trying treatments for hyperhidrosis. But in the meantime, stop the self-hatred. Hold your head tall. You are enough, and you are loved despite the sweating that might make you think you’re less than. You’re safe here. So own it.

Here is part of my vision statement. I hope it might help you in some way.

I choose to live as my authentic self, no longer apologizing or comparing who I am to others or betraying the nudges of my own heart. ‪#‎TheLifeIWant‬

The workbook from Oprah in which I created a new vision statement for my life.

The workbook from Oprah in which I created a new vision statement for my life.

Start to walk through life palms out, hands up.

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Summer Shoes for Sweaty Feet

If you have hyperhidrosis and it affects your feet, finding shoes that are sweat-safe can be a challenge particularly in the summer. You want to be able to wear sandals, flip flops and open-toed shoes like normal dry people wear, but it’s hard finding shoes that make you feel safe. When I say safe, I’m talking about more than one meaning.

Dangers of Sweaty Feet

When it comes to shoes, the slip and slide factor is a legitimate concern. Sweaty feet inside shoes that are not absorbent or have a smooth footbed with little to no texture could lead to your feet literally slipping right out of your shoes. Picture this scenario happening on a flight of stairs or when crossing a busy intersection. Ankle twists and bone breaking are not cool. But if you have hyperhidrosis, the not-cool factor gets bumped up a notch because it leads to emergency room/doctor visits, bandages and/or casting, and potentially navigating life with crutches for awhile. These are all triggers for hyperhidrosis, which would then require additional modifications in an attempt to achieve dryness.

Hiding the Sweat

The other safety I’m referring to is the kind that will keep my hyperhidrosis as hidden as possible, safe enough where I don’t have to think about it too much. There are certain types of fabric and styles of clothing and shoes that I simply will not wear because they’re not “safe.” For example: silk is not sweat-friendly and shows sweat marks very easily. I used to wear Keds white canvas shoes as a kid. The seams turned yellow on those shoes after the glue came loose from my sweaty feet and seeped into the surrounding fabric. I’m afraid to buy white canvas shoes to this day because of that.

Some Shoes to Try

So, when I find shoes that work with my sweaty feet, I get really excited. I feel more confident, more normal and like I’m making progress in navigating a drier life. Here are the shoes I bought this summer that work really well with my hyperhidrosis-ridden feet. The only ones that show any sweat marks are the Skechers, but you can only see the sweat marks when I take them off. I haven’t worn the blue fabric wedges yet; I’m hoping the fabric doesn’t stretch after it gets wet. I did have to poke another hole in each strap to get them to fit tighter around my heel.

 

 

Read my other posts about more sweat-friendly shoes and other sweat-friendly products.

Do you have any favorite shoes for your sweaty feet? Leave a comment below and share the sweaty love!

 

Hyperhidrosis and Fingerprinting

Getting fingerprinted with sweaty hands can be a problem. And no, I’m not a criminal who had to be checked into the police department. But that would be a good story, I’m sure. Bad decisions make good stories. Back when I was still in college, I had to be fingerprinted in order to do my student observation in a local high school. I was pursuing a teaching certificate at the time, and part of the requirement was a full background check including fingerprints so I could get clearance to enter the school.

One of my readers emailed me and asked if I have any tips for getting fingerprinted when your hands are really wet. I do!

Explain Yourself

Call ahead of time and speak to the people who will be collecting your fingerprints. Tell them you have hyperhidrosis and may require some additional time for the prints. Once the people know what they’re dealing with, they may have ideas already that they can begin thinking about and even implementing to help you complete the process.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Ask if you can come in early so that your body can adapt to their room’s temperature. Additionally, you can ask if a private appointment is possible. When I had mine done, all of the other students in the teaching program were there at the same time. You know what that means – LINES. I hate standing in lines. They make me sweat. Your best bet is to have both – a private appointment so you’re by yourself where you can arrive early and just hang out for a bit to get used to the room temperature. Whenever I arrive somewhere, it takes about 10-15 minutes for my body to adapt.

Bring Some Sweaty Supplies

You may not need all of these items, but bring whatever works best for you to help you get dry enough to get good prints.

  • A fan for air flow
  • A towel to wipe your hands
    – Wash the towel and test it for fuzz factor, as you don’t want fuzz on your fingertips right before you get them inked.
  • Rubbing alcohol
    – Alcohol will help to dry your skin and evaporates quickly.
  • A bowl of ice
    – If you’re really having a hard time controlling your sweat, immersing your hands in ice may help to cool them down. If you can get your wrists in there, too, that will help cool your overall body temperature through the pulse points on your wrists.
  • Really thin plastic wrap
    – I’ve not tried this personally, but you might be able to stretch it over your fingertips and still get a fingerprint to come through.
  • Baby powder
    – I’m not sure how this will affect the fingerprint transfer, so ask the professionals first. But, it might be absorbed fast enough in your sweaty hands to give you a brief window of time to place a drier finger on the paper or scanning machine.
  • Wear jeans
    – An old job of mine required me to clock in using my fingertip on a glass plate that scanned my fingerprint. Sometimes rubbing my finger up and down on my jeans helped me get a better scan.
  • Paper towels to wipe off the ink afterward
  • Ask to go outside to be fingerprinted
    – Depending on the climate, I tend to feel more comfortable and more dry out in the open air.

Create an Environment to Thrive

Based on all of these tips, the biggest one for me is to be able to adapt to the environment. So make sure you are giving yourself plenty of time in the space wherever you’ll be fingerprinted. I do much better when I don’t have to walk into a room and go straight to the action. Slow down, try not to over-think it, and then when you feel comfortable approach the person who will be helping you. Bring a magazine or something to distract yourself with for a few minutes. You don’t want to get caught in the vicious inner monologue many of us experience when we are in a situation that we know has high potential for sweat factor. Good luck!

Have you been fingerprinted with sweaty hands? What was your experience like? Leave me a comment below!


Copyright © 2011-2014 My Life as a Puddle

 

 

Yoga Products for Sweating

I decided to try yoga classes again despite my fears of sweating in public in close proximity to others, especially in compromising and vulnerable positions. Yoga classes can be intimidating for those with hyperhidrosis. The fear of dripping sweat all over the mat, on clothing, and on the floor is hard to overcome. But if you make the choice to do one thing every day that scares you, then maybe you, too, can finally be one of those people who doesn’t let their excessive sweating rule every aspect of their lives.

Find a Yoga Class

lululemon offers free yoga classes every week at their stores. I didn’t know this until my sister dragged me into one of their locations. If this is your first time doing yoga, I recommend locating some free classes first before you join a yoga studio or pay for individual classes at a gym. It’s a good way to test out different styles of yoga to see which you like best. It’s also a good way to lean into the discomfort factor of being around other people when exercising and sweating. Remember, sweating when exercising is good and very normal, but for those of us with hyperhidrosis this is taken to a whole new level physically and emotionally.

Wear the Right Clothing

My sister owns quite a bit of lululemon clothing and begged me to try on some of their yoga pants. I had no intention of buying anything, but once I tried on a pair of their Wunder Under crops, I was in love. They are crazy comfortable, and what sold me on them was a combination of things: they came down past my knees, which is an area that sweats very inconspicuously on my body sometimes. The fabric was also thick enough that I didn’t worry about anything showing through if I bent over or stretched my legs. The texture of the fabric also is important for those of us with excessive sweating. The Wunder Unders are very soft and smooth; I could wipe my hands on them, and they didn’t show wet marks or leave salty white stains behind when they dried.

As far as yoga tops go, I don’t own any from lululemon. Yet. However, I do have some racerback tanks made out of polyester that work well for me. You can find some pretty decent items at sporting goods stores online or at department stores like Kohl’s. A couple of the tanks I like are the BCG Women’s Racerback Tank Top – which has moisture wicking fabric to help keep you cool – and the Marika Dry Wik Performance Striped Racerback Tank.

If you’re worried about your feet sweating during yoga, there are yoga socks for this, which I’ve written about in my post Hyperhidrosis & Yoga.

Create a Safe Zone

Since it was my first time doing a yoga class indoors, in a retail store location and not a gym or studio, I wasn’t sure what to expect temperature-wise or air flow-wise. I arrived early so that I wasn’t rushed, since we all know that feeling rushed and being in hurry-up mode is an instant trigger for a sweat fest.

At lululemon, they supply the yoga mats for you, so all I brought with me were my yoga socks, a hand towel for wiping off my hands and feet, and a full-size towel to spread on top of the mat supplied. I also brought a water bottle, since staying properly hydrated is important when exercising, especially if you have the uncanny ability to make your own raindrops and further expel more water from your body than the average person. Proper hydration replenishes and refuels the body while also helping to regulate body temperature, so drink up, sweaty peeps. Sometimes I’ll add a dash of sea salt to my water since I lose a ton of salt when sweating.

So, I had the things I needed in order to feel as comfortable as I could, but I still wasn’t sure what to expect from the class.

Once Safe, Venture Out

I’ve been to two free yoga classes so far. The first time I was able to secure a spot in the back row so no one had to look at me from behind. I was in the corner directly underneath a vent in the ceiling where the air conditioning blasted out every so often. Just as I was feeling pretty good, the yoga instructor explained we would be doing a silent walking meditation outside for the first 15 minutes. She said we could wear our shoes if we wanted, but that she’d be walking barefoot. I had my yoga socks on, which I didn’t want to take off and then try to struggle to put back on again once we came back inside. I could have worn them with my flip flops, but there’s a certain dork factor to deal with there, so I decided to take them off altogether and not be inhibited by my fears of sweaty feet on pavement for all to see.

I’m proud to say I made it through the walking meditation completely barefoot with only a few pieces of grass stuck to my feet afterward, which I wiped off as soon as I returned to my mat.

Had I not gone barefoot, I wouldn’t have gotten the full benefit of the walk. The pavement and sidewalks were hot, but it felt good to feel the texture of the ground as it warmed my already hot feet. The grass felt good, too, and cooled me off for the short time I was touching it.

The second class I attended was a bit different. I had a hard time finding parking, so by the time I arrived there were already quite a few people there with their mats set up. I ended up in the front row but still underneath an AC vent. I tried not to freak out about people seeing me from behind or having to look to the side to copy what everyone was doing. I didn’t bother with my yoga socks this time. I didn’t even bother to bring them, deciding instead to leave one of my safe-zone items at home. Sometimes the socks make my feet sweat worse, so I figured I’d just let them sweat anyway and dry them off with my towel if needed.

Despite the faster paced Vinyasa flow yoga we did in the second class, I ended up doing pretty well sweat-wise. There were a few poses where I was standing up and started to sweat for whatever reason, but for the most part my feet stayed relatively dry with only a few glistening drops of sweat versus a full-blown drip attack.

It’s All About the Mat

I was thrilled to discover a mat in the pile of class mats lululemon provides that was sweat friendly. It’s called the hot (towel) mat, and it’s normally used for hot yoga. This mat saved me in class for sure. I didn’t even have to use my towel over the top of it to absorb my sweat. It’s a very thin mat, though, so I recommend placing a thicker one underneath it if you are a beginner or just like some extra cushioning when you’re contorting your body. Some of these mats have extra grippy stuff on each end, others are just the microfiber all the way across. I had the grippy version the second time in class, which I liked even better than the first one I used. lululemon also makes a towel version, so if you already have a yoga mat you can just buy the towel instead. A yoga mat tailored to your specific needs makes all the difference in the world. So grab this mat for sweat, do yourself a favor, and go live in the moment. If I can do it, then so can you.

The hot (towel) mat from lululemon makes yoga possible with hyperhidrosis.

The hot (towel) mat from lululemon makes yoga possible with hyperhidrosis.

In case you missed these posts, catch up and read about my other hyperhidrosis and yoga experiences – Hyperhidrosis & Yoga and Hyperhidrosis & Yoga – Round 2.

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Copyright © 2011-2014 My Life as a Puddle

Hyperhidrosis and Dating

If your hyperhidrosis affects your hands, dating can be intimidating. How are you supposed to address the fact that your hands are sweating when you hold your date’s hand for the first time? Not to mention the fact that I know you’re probably worrying about this scenario long before it even happens, like when you’re getting ready for your date.

One of my readers in Australia (Australia! Isn’t that awesome?) asked me about dating with hyperhidrosis. So, let’s talk about this social scenario that many people with excessive sweating may not like all that much, or may even avoid altogether because of their sweaty relationship to their own body.

Sweating While Getting Ready

For women, this can be a real problem because we’re already trying not to sweat everywhere else while we’re getting ready. The routine for us probably starts with plenty of time to spare. I don’t like to be rushed when getting ready – being in a hurry makes me sweat. We blow dry our hair, and then we might use a flat iron or curling iron, all of which generate more heat than we’d like, especially on the back of our neck. So then the hair on the nape of our neck gets wet again, even though we just spent torturous minutes under the blow dryer to get it dry. Summer with hyperhidrosis is extra challenging with the hair and makeup routine. Ladies, you do get ready with a fan blowing on you and a hand towel draped over the counter for intermittent hand wiping, right? Can I get an amen?

I always stand on a towel when I get ready. Bare floors don’t work too well for me, so I need something to soak up the sweat from my feet. And then there’s always the fun part of picking off all the hair that’s now stuck to your sweaty feet after you’re all done getting ready.

So, you’re nervous about your date (most people are regardless of whether they have hyperhidrosis), you’re trying not sweat as you get ready for the date, and then you arrive for your date, where you’re nervous about the initial meet and greet because you know it will probably involve a handshake. But you’re not sweating because you’re nervous, you’re nervous because you’re sweating. There is a distinct difference between the two.

The Dreaded Sweaty Handshake

In the past when I’ve met someone, I would always apologize for my wet hands right away. But why do you have to be sorry for something that’s not your fault? I usually would just leave it at that, but sometimes you can take the conversation a step farther and actually explain up front why your hands are so wet. I’ve had people shake my hand and remark, “Wow. Your hand is really wet!” Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Instead, you can try, “Yeah, I have a medical condition called hyperhidrosis. It’s excessive sweating that typically affects the hands and feet.” or some derivative of that. Other times, you can bring up the topic later in the date when you’re talking and getting to know each other. Your hyperhidrosis doesn’t have to be the main focus of your conversation, but if it bothers you that much, get it out in the open right away. When you let out your sweating angst, it can set you free.

Talk About Your Hyperhidrosis

You don’t have to tell your entire sweaty story on the first date, but a general mention of it is usually a good idea. If the person you’re on a date with doesn’t receive it well, then that’s the not the person you want to have another date with. It takes a lot of courage to share your hyperhidrosis with someone else. So show up. Show up for yourself first and foremost, which will give your date permission to do the same. No one is perfect, and by sharing a part of yourself that can be difficult to hide you create a scenario for authenticity. You’re saying to the world, I’m real. I have things I don’t like about myself. Yet I’m still here, doing what I can with what I have right where I am.

If you’re like me, your hands don’t sweat ALL the time, just a lot of the time. Tell your date that you’d like to hold hands, but that there may be some times when you need to pull away if they start to sweat. Once your hands calm down again, then you can grasp the other person’s again. Some people may not even care when your hands start to get wet. For me, it makes it worse so I like to let go for a few minutes and get dry again.

Ideas for Less Sweaty Dates

Do not avoid dating because of your hyperhidrosis. Actively seek treatment for hyperhidrosis, and in the meantime, ask for what you need when you date someone. If you prefer indoor activities where you know there will be air conditioning, for example, then do some indoor dates for awhile until you’re comfortable enough with the other person to begin to venture outdoors. Go on early morning or evening dates when it’s cooler out. Go up to the mountains, down to the beach at dusk, up to the lake to watch the sun rise or set, or look for windy days when you know the air flow will be good.

What a Good Date Will Do

Dating is possible with hyperhidrosis. There are people out there who won’t care about your sweating, so it doesn’t have to be an issue for either one of you. Or, they will care about you, and by default care about your condition enough, that they will think of ways to help you cope with it. They will blast the AC and cool the car down before they let you get in. They will run the AC in their house when you are there, or turn on the ceiling fan, or let you sit next to the open window in the room since the breeze is blowing. They will carry your dinner plate through the buffet line at a wedding reception and pile the food on for you because lines, and handling utensils before and after other people, are a trigger for you. They will do a “hand check” and lightly caress your palms; when you ask them why they’re doing so, they will say “Because if you’re sweating, it lets me know that I could be doing something differently to help you.”

How do I know all of this is possible? Because I’ve lived every single one of these scenarios. But here’s the secret to all of this: You, and you alone, must first believe you are enough exactly as you are, hyperhidrosis and all. If you don’t believe it, then how will your date?


Copyright © 2011-2014 My Life as a Puddle