My Life as a Puddle

Creating hyperhidrosis hope and awareness one drop at a time

How You Can Help Someone With Hyperhidrosis

Do you ever wonder what you can do to help someone  who suffers from hyperhidrosis?  If you don’t already know the details of his or her condition, I would encourage you to take the time to ask questions so you can learn in what areas he or she might need extra support. My friends and family all know that I have HH, and since I am comfortable enough with them to be open about it, they have naturally learned to be good hosts when I am visiting their homes. Here’s a partial list of things you can do to make your guests with HH feel more comfortable:

Open the windows in your home to generate fresh air; dead air is bad news for people with HH.

Turn down your thermostat a few degrees to make the temperature cooler while the person will be visiting

Place a fan in the room where you’ll be spending the most time to generate some air flow.

Offer to open the umbrella on the patio and let the person with HH sit directly under it away from the sun and heat.

Turn on your ceiling fan(s).

Give them a small hand towel or burping cloth when they hold your baby so they can dab off the sweat.

Encourage them to hold your child even though they might be worried about making the child wet and uncomfortable (I’ve gotten lucky and some of the kids I hold are sweaty so it doesn’t matter anyway. :-))

Let them sit in the front seat of the car if you’re driving somewhere so they can have direct access to the AC vents.

Offer to open the car windows for increased airflow, even if it might make you a little chilly.

Start your car a few minutes in advance so the AC has a chance to cool down the car before everyone piles in.

If you have leather seats, place a towel in your car, especially in the summer, to avoid sticky legs and wet clothes. That simple layer of fabric can make us feel much more comfortable during the car ride.

If we’re talking weddings and bridesmaids, create a sweat-friendly environment by allowing simple modifications to footwear (eg, if you say “strappy shoes”, allow them to be close-toed or have a few more straps to prevent slipping and sliding) and bouquets (eg, wrap a washcloth around the middle section of the bouquet where the hands will cover it, sew a towel around the handle of the bouquet, carry a handkerchief that can do double duty as a sweat and tear absorber).

If you’re in a buffet line, offer to carry the person’s plate and fill it for them.

When dining out, ask the person with HH if they prefer to sit inside or outside. Depending on the temperature, they’ll be able to tell you where they will feel most comfortable.

Don’t ask someone with HH to carry out tasks that might involve direct hand-to-hand contact (eg, monitoring and passing out a microphone during a Q&A session at a meeting)

If you don’t allow shoes to be worn inside your home, tell the person with HH; he or she can plan in advance to bring a pair of socks so your floors won’t get footprints on them. Or, you could make an exception and allow  shoes, or provide a basket of socks at the front door for all guests.

This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list. I can come up with a slew of other ideas, but what about you? Are there certain things you’ve done to help someone cope with HH? What have you asked for to help you with your own HH?Hyperhidrosis-friendly bouquet


Copyright © 2011 My Life as a Puddle

7 Comments

  1. My life was one big huge puddle! I would say it started when I was about 9 years old. My underarms would sweat so excessively. It could be 15 degrees and I’d still be sweating. I compared my sweating to a faucet, without an off switch! I had a horrific time finding clothes that would not show the sweat as much as some clothes did. The clothes I did get, would have to thrown away after only wearing them a few times. I had only a few close friends and after entering my teenage years, soon found out that dating was not in the stars for me. My mother took me to several doctors, but nothing I tried worked.

    Finally, when I was 26 years old, I decided to have surgery to remove the skin under my arms. After the surgery, my Doctor told me that that this skin was covered with 100 times the amount of sweat glands as other people. The surgery was a complete success! Yes, I do have some scarring, but compared to sweating, the scars were more than welcome.

    I thought the surgery would have ended my problem. However, after living with hyperhidrosis for the majority of my life, I still had another journey ahead. Although I didn’t sweat anymore, the stigma of sweating remained with me. At that point, I realized how much hyperhidrosis had really affected my life. It shaped my personality (I was extremely shy), it had affected my posture and as far as my brain was concerned, I still was “The girl who sweats”!

    I had to go into therapy and remained there for about 10 years. My years of therapy reshaped my entire personality. Today, I am no longer “The girl who sweats”. I am now 58 years and have finally grown into a confident, self-assured woman.

    In closing, I like to add this… During my life I have encountered a lot of medical problems. At 30 years old, I was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure. I was on dialysis for some time before I was able to get a kidney transplant 2 years ago. I also have Interstitial Cystitis, a very painful bladder disease. Although, my kidney failure certainly had a major impact on my life, hyperhidrosis was the most significant disability I have ever experienced.

    Hyperhidrosis isn’t just “excessive sweating”. It is a horrible social disability! It robbed of being myself. I don’t know if the Doctors who treat this disease really understand the impact hyperhidrosis has on someone’s life!

    Thank You for your website and for allowing me to share my story with others who suffer from this debilitating disease.

    Pam

  2. this list is so right on!! unfortunately I’m way too embarrassed to share this with anyone except maybe my family. there simply isn’t enough awareness about HH, most people think I’m crazy when I tell them. I know that statement and me not wanting to share is counter intuitive but alas…I’m not quite there. thank God for the internet and people like you! hopefully within a short time this will be a more recognizable and socially accepted condition.

    • Hi Philip! Thanks for reading my blog and commenting. I encourage you to push yourself a bit outside of your comfort zone and tell people you have this condition. You don’t have to stand on a street corner and blurt it out, but if an opportunity presents itself take advantage of it.

  3. I have been suffering with excessive underarm sweating my whole life, I have seen a handful of doctors and tried everything I can think of. I recently started using a product called 1-2Dry and it has been working really great. It absorbs all the sweat in these little comfortable pads that go under my clothes- which ensures no one can see it and I don’t get any embarrassing stains! Hope this might help others with my same problem!

  4. Ask your doctor about robinul. In my case, I sweat from the head and will literally look like I just got out of the shower. Robinul is a pill that I take every day and has saved me. I still sweat , but my hair stays dry and I can work without embarrassment. One tip is to not eat right after taking medication…it works better. Good luck.
    P.s. Rubinul will also eliminate hand and foot sweating:)

    • Hi Christine. Thanks for reading my blog! I’ve tried Robinul (glycopyrrolate) and it didn’t do a darn thing for me. But thanks for sharing the tip with me and others. There are a variety of oral medications to try out for the treatment of hyperhidrosis.

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