Please welcome Anne-Sophie, age 27, from Paris, France to the sweaty tribe. She is a brave soul with hyperhidrosis who has chosen to share her sweaty story on mylifeasapuddle.com. Going public about our sweaty secret can be scary, but using our sweaty voices is the bravest thing we will ever do.
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On what areas of your body do you experience hyperhidrosis?
Hands (palmar hyperhidrosis) and feet (plantar hyperhidrosis)
How did you discover that your excessive sweating is a recognized medical condition?
At first, I thought I was the only one having this. Then I did research on the Internet a few years ago to find out that it was a recognized disorder.
How does your hyperhidrosis impair your daily life?
I find it unpleasant to have my hands and feet sweating in an uncontrolled way, especially when the weather is very hot. I also feel that I can only be physically close with my family. It’s hard for me to trust other people for fear of being judged on my difference.
Do you avoid certain things because of your sweating?
Yes, for example I fear shaking people’s hands, because I’m afraid of being judged on my sweaty hands.
I recently declined participating in a friend’s dance class because we had to touch each other, and I was uncomfortable with it. I had to find an excuse because I don’t easily talk about my hyperhidrosis.
Do you find that hyperhidrosis affects your mental health? If so, in what ways and how do you cope?
I would say that it doesn’t help with my anxiety and chronic depression, because it makes me feel different from other people. I try to gain more confidence by doing meditation and yoga.
What treatments for hyperhidrosis – if any – have you tried?
I tried antiperspirants, creams, iontophoresis. Nothing has made a really significant change.
Is anything working for you to help you cope with your hyperhidrosis?
Finding your blog and other websites about hyperhidrosis awareness was a big relief and helps me on my journey to accept myself, because I see that I am not alone in this.
What’s the worst thing about your hyperhidrosis?
I guess it’s the judgement of others.
What do you think is the biggest misconception when it comes to hyperhidrosis?
I don’t like when people say that sweat is disgusting, as if we could control its production. This misconception has made me feel ashamed and dirty more than once.
What would you like to see in the future when it comes to treatments for hyperhidrosis?
Something that doesn’t hurt and that isn’t too restrictive.
If you could tell the world only one thing about hyperhidrosis, what would it be?
It’s something that we don’t control, and we are not dirty for having it.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about your sweaty story?
I wish I could meet people who have hyperhidrosis, too, because it’s not common and it often feels lonely.