My Life as a Puddle

Creating hyperhidrosis hope and awareness one drop at a time.

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Interview with the Founders of Carpe

It’s Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month! Let’s do an interview. Meet Kasper Kubica and David Spratte, the founders of Carpe lotion for excessive sweating. They made this video just for me. Aren’t they nice guys?

(Can’t see the video below? Watch it on YouTube.)

Tell me how it all started with Carpe.

Carpe started with a personal problem: David’s sweaty hands. In David’s words,

“They were the absolute worst. I couldn’t hold hands, shake hands, high-five, or even write for extended periods of time without grossing out my non-sweaty counterpart – whether that was a person or a pen and piece of paper. When I was a senior in high school, I was trying to go on dates, trying to make great first impressions during interview weekends for colleges, trying to be normal…but my sweat kept getting in the way, and I decided that I had had enough.”

However, there weren’t any good solutions out there for sweaty hands. If you go to a store, there are only underarm antiperspirants. So David and Kasper (a fellow hand sweater and friend passionate about startups) decided that they weren’t going to find a solution for their sweat, so they were going to have to make one of their own.

What over-the-counter products does Carpe currently make? And, do you have anything in the pipeline you might be able to tell us about?

Carpe currently makes an antiperspirant lotion for the hands, feet, and underarms: the three main areas where we struggle with sweat, and the three main areas of primary focal hyperhidrosis. Our sweaty family of Carpe customers doesn’t just sweat in their hands, feet, and underarms, though, and we are dedicated to stopping sweat anywhere and anytime. So if you sweat in a weird place when you don’t want to, we do, too, and we’ve got you covered. We are working on it!

Can you tell us about the commercials you filmed with that awesome chick who blogs about sweat all day? 😉 What was that experience like?

We wanted to film a TV commercial with a Carpe customer who really understands what it’s like to live with hyperhidrosis on a daily basis. And we found someone infinitely better: someone whose has a lifelong passion for talking about sweat and ways to help with it. And that someone is My Life as a Puddle’s very own, Maria Thomas.

(Can’t see my commercial above? Watch it on YouTube.)

We met her in Charlotte where she has some family, and we had one of the most incredible days in this company’s history. We interviewed Maria and proceeded to hear an incredibly emotional, moving, and genuine story of sweat, its impact on Maria’s life and the lives of others with hyperhidrosis, and finally how Carpe has helped!

RELATED: Read my product review of Carpe and how it finally gave me some relief!

And after that, we had a really fun time just getting to know her more, and I can’t explain how amazing of a person Maria is. She’s seriously amazing in every way, and we are so incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to meet up with her in person. [Thanks you guys! The pleasure was all mine.]

What do you think the biggest misconception is regarding hyperhidrosis?

People don’t think it’s a problem. When people hear “sweaty hands” or “sweaty feet,” people don’t hear “life changing problem,” but for millions of people, it is just that.

What advice would you give to those who are suffering from hyperhidrosis?

You’re not alone – by a long shot. There’s no need to hide your sweaty secret. Reach out to people like Maria and talk about your sweat – there are things that can really help!

What advice would you give to medical professionals who see patients with hyperhidrosis?

Let them know that they’re not alone, that most people with hyperhidrosis don’t even know that it’s something to speak with a dermatologist about, and that there’s a diversity of treatment options, and more are being developed.

There’s a lot you can do to help hyperhidrosis, and the sooner your patients start finding out what works for them, the sooner they’ll be able to take their focus off their sweat.

And obviously, we’d tell them about the success that Carpe has had in the hyperhidrosis community, and that they should recommend their patients try Carpe before dabbling in more expensive prescription solutions that have side effects.

What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned thus far when it comes to running a start-up company?

The single most important thing isn’t your idea, and it isn’t even the work you put in – it’s the people by your side in the journey. You’re only as strong as the team you’re working with, and we couldn’t be luckier to have the Carpe team with us every step of the way.

Tell us about your worst sweating experience ever, or your funniest.

For one of our biggest, most important meetings of all time, I (David) wore a Carolina blue button-down shirt. Big mistake. Before the meeting even started, I had the biggest sweat stains under my arms that I had ever seen – and I had seen some big sweat stains. The stains went onto the front of my shirt and the back.

Luckily, I had used Carpe on my hands and feet, so I was able to offer a sweat-free handshake, but my pits were badddddddd. I tried wiping them off in the bathroom, but nothing worked. My face was beet red the entire meeting because of it. It was unbelievably embarrassing, and every time I think back to it, I cringe.

If you could only tell those with hyperhidrosis one thing, what would it be?

This thing is so much more common than anybody admits – the statistics on how many people have it keep going up, and I think they’ll keep going up for a long time.  There are plenty of people out there just like you, leading great, happy lives – you’re not alone, and there are solutions available that can give you the piece of mind to not have to constantly worry about unexpected sweat episodes. And if you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked, more solutions are being developed.

Anything else you’d like to add during Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month?

Thank you for letting us find something so meaningful to help with. The best part of Carpe is seeing the difference we’re making in people’s lives, and we wouldn’t trade that for the world.

I’m partnering with Carpe for a giveaway during Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month, and you can enter to win a year’s supply of this stuff! Giveaway runs November 1- November 30, 2018

Try Carpe Lotion for Hyperhidrosis!

tubes of Carpe lotion for hyperhidrosis

Curious about Carpe for hyperhidrosis? Try it for yourself.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. I get credit for products purchased through these links. Your purchases help support the costs associated with operating this blog about sweat. Thank you!

Carpe Lotion Names Maria Thomas as First Affiliate Partner

Carpe Lotion and My Life as a Puddle partnership

(Disclosure: I have an affiliate partnership with Carpe Lotion. This means I get credit for sales made via my affiliate link. All opinions remain my own.)

I’m excited to announce that I am the very first affiliate partner to be working with Carpe Lotion!

I’ve been actively seeking brand partnerships lately after I worked with O, The Oprah Magazine for a year as one of the inaugural O Mag Insiders. So earlier this year, I pitched David and Kasper – the founders of Carpe Lotion – regarding a brand ambassador or affiliate program. They didn’t have one then, but they do now!

When I tried Carpe Lotion a couple of years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it’s a viable treatment for my sweaty hands and feet. Plus, it’s over the counter, available without a prescription and comes with a like-it-or-its-free guarantee.

I’m excited to be on the ground floor of this new program. Carpe Lotion is a product I believe in that helps me manage my hyperhidrosis.

Here’s a video explaining their lotion for sweaty hands and feet.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again.

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Whether it’s something to treat your hyperhidrosis, a partnership you desire or anything else, take a risk and see what happens.

As the Carpe Lotion slogan says, “Seize the moment.” I did.

Order Carpe Lotion now

Have you tried Carpe Lotion? Leave me a comment below!

Carpe Lotion for Sweaty Hands and Feet

(Disclosures: I received this product at no charge from Carpe Lotion. I am now an affiliate partner (their very first!) as of 2018. If you order the product through the links contained herein, I receive credit for the sale. All opinions expressed remain my own.)

Watch my testimonial I shot with Carpe in the summer of 2018 below.

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!

Order Carpe Lotion now

Carpe Lotion for hyperhidrosis

Try Carpe lotion for hyperhidrosis!

Guest Post: Hyperhidrosis in the South

Please welcome Eryn, 15, from the south (United States) 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. 

And, make sure you subscribe to my hyperhidrosis email newsletter so you don’t miss a sweaty thing.

Eryn from Georgia playing tennis despite having palmar hyperhidrosis (sweaty hands)

Eryn playing tennis despite having palmar hyperhidrosis (sweaty hands)

On what areas of your body do you experience hyperhidrosis? 

Palmar hyperhidrosis (sweaty hands) and plantar hyperhidrosis (sweaty feet)

How did you discover that your excessive sweating is a recognized medical condition? 

I looked up on online why I had such sweaty palms and feet all the time, and I found an article on hyperhidrosis.

RELATED: How I discovered I had hyperhidrosis

RELATED: Hyperhidrosis Life Hacks for the Doctor’s Office

How does your hyperhidrosis impair your daily life? 

My hyperhidrosis affects the way I socialize and go about my life. I wear certain kinds of shoes and sometimes even gloves.

RELATED: Some of my favorite shoes for sweaty feet in the summer

Do you avoid certain things because of your sweating? 

sweaty sandals

When Eryn does decide to wear sandals, this is what her sweaty feet do to them.

Every day! I avoid:

  • Sandals
  • Going barefoot
  • Church
  • Social events
  • Putting my hands on things (desks, windows, etc.)
  • Touching anyone
  • Using my hands in conversation because I don’t want people to see my shiny hands.

RELATED: That one time I was a model in a fashion show for O, The Oprah Magazine and thought I would ruin the high heels I was wearing because of my sweaty feet

Do you find that hyperhidrosis affects your mental health? If so, in what ways and how do you cope? 

Eryn's sweaty hand

It takes courage to reach out for a handshake when your first impression is dictated by sweat.

My hyperhidrosis gives me anxiety in what people without hyperhidrosis would consider “normal” situations. I just have to tell myself that yeah, maybe the person I’m going to shake hands with is going to look at me with disgust, but the anxiety and stress will pass.

It’s so important to remember that even though we suffer from hyperhidrosis, we are just as special and capable as anybody, no matter what kind of looks we get from other people.

RELATED: How Hyperhidrosis Can F**k You Up a Little

What treatments for hyperhidrosis – if any – have you tried? 

I haven’t tried any specific treatments, just things like Carpe lotion, Clorox wipes, dumping hand sanitizer, and swiping deodorant on my hands and feet (to no avail).

RELATED: Sweaty? Check out these treatment options for hyperhidrosis.

Is anything working for you to help you cope with your hyperhidrosis?

Staying connected to online hyperhidrosis forums and remembering that I’m not the only one suffering. Also, just doing things that I enjoy so much that I’m not focused on my sweaty hands and feet.

What’s the worst thing about your hyperhidrosis? 

The way it makes me feel. My hyperhidrosis is like this little monster inside my head telling me that I can’t do this and I can’t do that. It gives me really low confidence and changes the way I go about normal tasks.

RELATED: How I deal with my sweaty inner monologue

What do you think is the biggest misconception when it comes to hyperhidrosis? 

The fact that people think that we can just stop sweating.

I hate that people think that hyperhidrosis is really gross and that people who have it are unhygienic. In fact, we may be some of the most avid body cleaners because we want our sweat to go away!

What would you like to see in the future when it comes to treatments for hyperhidrosis? 

I would like to see a wider range of options for treating hyperhidrosis, especially an oral medicine.

If you could tell the world only one thing about hyperhidrosis, what would it be? 

I would tell the world that if they meet someone with hyperhidrosis, treat them with understanding and kindness. Hyperhidrosis is a tough spot for many people and should be treated with respect and compassion.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about your sweaty story? 

I find that it’s really hard to be a relaxed, normal teenager when suffering from hyperhidrosis.

My friends and family know about my sweaty hands and feet, but they don’t fully understand how much it impacts me. My friends like to laugh at my sweaty hands, and sometimes when talking to other people they will say, “Eryn has really sweaty hands!”

I act like it’s funny and laugh with them, but deep inside I’m SO embarrassed.

Hyperhidrosis truly isn’t just a physical condition; it’s tough mentally as well, and no one around me seems to get it.

Because of my sweaty hands, I don’t want to go to church anymore. My parents don’t go since I don’t want to, and I feel like I’m dragging them down.

One time at theatre camp, we played this game called pretzel where you have to hold people’s hands until everyone is untangled. It took forever, and the two kids I was holding hands with got so disgusted they barely held on to me. Now, any time my teachers say we are going to do an activity, my hands instantly flare up and start dripping. I hope and pray that we don’t do an activity where I have to touch anything or anyone! And when we end up doing an activity on paper, I can’t even write because the paper is so soggy.

RELATED: Things People Avoid Because of Hyperhidrosis

This condition also makes me question my future. I’m super interested in emergency medicine, but I don’t know if I can be a doctor and examine patients if I have sweaty hands.

And what happens if I get a boyfriend in college? I can’t hold somebody’s hand! However, despite my many worries, I just have to trust that it will all work out.

RELATED: How can I date someone if I have hyperhidrosis and my hands sweat?

Do you have a sweaty story?

share your sweaty storyI’ve opened my blog to the larger hyperhidrosis community. If you’d like to be featured, please fill out the form on my Contact Me page. In the subject line, enter Guest Post. Not a writer? No worries! I can edit your story, send you questions to answer to create one, or you can record a video.

Sweaty Gift List for Hyperhidrosis

Got hyperhidrosis? Here are some products that might work well to reduce excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). Ask Santa for these items under your tree, or add them to your wish list year-round.

Disclosures: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I also am an affiliate partner for My Carpe; purchases made through my My Carpe affiliate link earn me credit and help me to cover the costs associated with running my hyperhidrosis blog. Thank you for your sweaty support.

Carpe Lotion for Hyperhidrosis

Carpe is the #1 antiperspirant lotion for sweaty hands, feet and underarms. They also have new products available now to reduce excessive sweating in the following areas:

More Antiperspirants & Deodorants for Excessive Sweating

Take back your confidence with these products designed to reduce sweating and/or odor.

Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant

Degree Clinical Strength Antiperspirant for Men

Deodorant Sprays for ‘Down There’

Guys, you can use these, too. I picked the scents that smell clean, not girly.

Cooling Products

Mission Enduracool Cooling Wristbands

Zone Tech Cooling Car Seat Cover

PharMeDoc Memory Foam Cooling Pillow

Wicked Sheets –
Moisture-Wicking Bed Sheets

Holmes Mini High Velocity Personal Fan

 

Sweat-Absorbing Gifts

Summer Soles Shoe Inserts for Sweaty Feet

Custom Accessories Suede Steering Wheel Cover

Lotuscrafts Cork Yoga Mat –
Non-Slip Sweatproof Surface

If you think you can’t do yoga because of your hyperhidrosis, think again. Read some of my previous posts about yoga:

Hyperhidrosis & Yoga

Hyperhidrosis & Yoga Round 2

SHANDALI GoSweat Non-Slip Hot Yoga Towel

Qing Yoga Socks
for Women Non Skid Socks

Thompson Tee Sweatproof Undershirts
for Men & Women

These are just a few items I can think of that help me cope with my hyperhidrosis. There are many more I could list here for you, but hopefully this gets you started. What types of products have you tried for excessive sweating? Leave me a comment below!

Sweaty? Check out these treatment options for hyperhidrosis.

While there isn’t a cure yet for hyperhidrosis, there are many treatment options for excessive sweating that are available over the counter, via prescription, or in a health care provider’s office.

Hyperhidrosis Defined

If you’re new to my blog, let’s start at square one.

Perhaps you’ve never heard the term hyperhidrosis before. If you have excessive, uncontrollable sweating (four to five times more perspiration than the average person who sweats), you might have hyperhidrosis.

Hyperhidrosis is a recognized medical condition that can cause a crapload of problems for those who have to live with it, including skin infections, social anxiety, and depression. It’s more than just a physical problem on your skin.

Now that we’ve got the definition out of the way, let’s chat about how we get this horrible problem to stop, even if only temporarily.

Treatments for Hyperhidrosis

Picture the following list of treatments like a pyramid, with the most common, least invasive or least complicated at the bottom, and the more involved procedures at the top.

Antiperspirants

What’s the difference between an antiperspirant and a deodorant?

Antiperspirants do just what they sound like – they are anti-sweat and work by creating plugs in the pores of the skin to block the sweat from escaping. Apply these at night to clean skin for maximum effectiveness. Since your body temperature cools overnight, it allows your pores to better absorb the ingredients to form those plugs.

Deodorant simply blocks odor. 

Over-the-Counter Antiperspirants

Look for the words clinical strength on products for the highest percentage of active antiperspirant ingredients. Or, look on the packaging under ingredients to manually determine the percentage of active ingredient.

There are many OTC products for hyperhidrosis, including creams, lotions, powders and wipes.

I’ve had good results with Carpe products for excessive sweating.

Note: I am a brand partner for Carpe, and this is an affiliate link. Your purchase earns me credit for any sales made through this link, which helps me pay for the costs associated with running my website. Thank you for your support!

Carpe Lotion and My Life as a Puddle

Carpe lotion is available over the counter to treat hyperhidrosis.

Read my posts about Carpe.

OTC antiperspirants aren’t just for your underarms. If you have groin sweating, for example, you can try sensitive skin and unscented varieties for that sensitive area. I don’t recommend applying it directly onto your private parts, but around the general area instead.

Prescription Antiperspirants

The most common active ingredient is aluminum chloride hexahydrate; many brand names are available. Follow the directions from your health care provider, pharmacist, or the package insert as these medications can be more harsh on the skin.

Natural Remedies

These might include sage tablets, St. John’s Wort, valerian root, chamomile and others. While there aren’t many studies on these herbs, we shouldn’t discount their potential effectiveness. Each person’s body is different, so some of these might work to help you find relief from hyperhidrosis.

Oral Medications for Excessive Sweating

Anticholinergics

Prescribed as an off-label use for hyperhidrosis, this class of medications hasn’t been studied in clinical trials for hyperhidrosis. However, these medications have been to shown to be effective in decreasing sweating.  Anticholinergics work by blocking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, the little jerk that precipitates the nerve impulse that creates sweating. Generic names include glycopyrrolate, oxybutynin, benztropine, propantheline, etc.

Beta Blockers 

Beta blockers like propranolol or metoprolol work in the central nervous system by blocking the body’s physical reaction to anxiety. Many people will take a beta blocker before public speaking engagements to help them calm down. These medications are typically for short-term, episodic instances of hyperhidrosis, like sweaty job interviews. Many cannot tolerate their long-term side effects.

Benzodiazepines

These are controlled substances prescribed for those with anxiety. Use with caution; this class of medication can have an addictive effect. Not everyone with hyperhidrosis has anxiety, but hyperhidrosis can cause it.

In some people, we’re not sweating because we’re nervous, we’re nervous BECAUSE we’re sweating. There is a difference.

Botox®

OnabotulinumtoxinA injections (Botox®) block the chemical that is responsible for turning on the body’s sweat glands, at least temporarily. I’ve had these injections in my hands, which you can read about here.

Iontophoresis

This is a medical device that uses an electrical current passed though shallow water, which temporarily blocks the sweating. Iontophoresis is generally used for hands and feet by placing them in shallow trays filled with water that contain metal boards to conduct the electricity. Most companies require a prescription in order to ship the machine.

Lasers

Used to treat axillary hyperhidrosis (sweaty underarms), lasers can precisely target, treat and destroy sweat glands in this area.

miraDry®

miraDry® uses microwave technology to elimate sweat and odor glands in the underarms. It’s available in over 50 countries worldwide. 

Qbrexza™ 

The newest prescription medication on the market, this cloth containing glycopyrronium is an anticholinergic. It’s applied topically to the underarms to reduce axillary hyperhidrosis.

Surgeries for Hyperhidrosis

Local Surgery for Underarms

This is called local because the surgery is performed locally on the area affected by excessive sweating, which is the underarms. Surgery is used to remove the sweat glands; they may be cut, scraped or suctioned out.

ETS Surgery

This is the most drastic and permanent procedure to treat hyperhidrosis, and many consider it a last resort.

Please make sure you do your research before committing to this procedure. Don’t simply trust the results you see on the first page of your internet search.

Many of those first page search results could be paid advertisements by those who perform this procedure.

ETS stands for endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy. This is where a surgeon severs individual nerves on the sympathetic nervous chain near the spinal column. ETS is a permanent procedure, and no successful reversals have been reported.

I’ve met people in person who are literally sweating through two layers of clothes due to compensatory sweating (CS) from ETS surgery. They deeply regret having the surgery, and their CS is worse than the original sweating they were trying to stop. 

Read Carrie’s ETS story and Leann’s ETS story.

For a complete explanation of ETS surgery, visit the International Hyperhidrosis Society.

Mental Health and Hyperhidrosis

While these may not treat your hyperhidrosis, they can help improve your mental health and well-being and/or produce a feeling of relaxation. I’ve done or continue to do all of these myself.

Therapy

I love therapy! Find a good psychologist or licensed family therapist to help you dig deep into your hyperhidrosis feelings if you need to. Sometimes a therapist can help you discover underlying causes or thought patterns that are responsible for how you might feel.

Consult a psychiatrist or your primary care physician if you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety. In some cases, medications like antidepressants may help you. Be aware, though, that some antidepressants can actually increase sweating as a side effect.

Massage 

But I can’t let anyone touch me! I’ve heard that BS excuse before, because it’s one I used myself. Here’s how I got over it to accept the gift of touch.

Pedicures

My feet sweat wayyyy too much to go through with this. Also a BS excuse I used to use. Here’s how I let my sweaty feet be exposed.

Acupuncture

While acupuncture to treat hyperhidrosis didn’t work for me, the overall body benefits and relaxation did help me feel better as a person. Read my sweaty acupuncture stories.

Final Thoughts on Hyperhidrosis Treatments

I hope you find this information useful. While there currently isn’t a cure for hyperhidrosis, this is a pretty comprehensive list of options to try. Remember, each person’s body is different. What works for one may not work for another.

I am thankful we have a variety of treatment options from which to choose, and I will never give up hope that one day hyperhidrosis can be cured. Because without hope, we have nothing.

Sources:

  • International Hyperhidrosis Society. Hyperhidrosis Treatment Overview. Retrieved from https://sweathelp.org/hyperhidrosis-treatments/treatment-overview.html on Nov. 15, 2019
  • Mayo Clinic. Hyperhidrosis Diagnosis & Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperhidrosis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20367173 on Nov. 15, 2019
  • Miradry. How it works. Retrieved from https://www.miradry.com/how-it-works/ on Nov. 15, 2019

Guest Post: Hyperhidrosis in Massachusetts

Meet Anonymous, 33, from Massachusetts. She is a brave soul with hyperhidrosis who has chosen to share her sweaty story on mylifeasapuddle.com. I want my blog to be a safe space for those who find me, which is why her guest post is anonymous. Going public about our sweaty secret can be scary, but using our sweaty voices is the bravest thing we will ever do.

On what areas of your body do you experience hyperhidrosis?

Hands (palmar hyperhidrosis), feet (plantar hyperhidrosis), armpits (axillary hyperhidrosis), groin, face (craniofacial hyperhidrosis)

How did you discover that your excessive sweating is a recognized medical condition?

At some point in high school, I remember seeing a news special about hyperhidrosis and was floored that there were others like me. Until then, none of my pediatricians had ever said anything about it. When I brought it up to my pediatrician at the time, he was pretty dismissive about it.

How does your hyperhidrosis impair your daily life?

It affects pretty much everything, from:

I chose to go to college in Maine in part because cold weather is easier than hot weather.

RELATED: Hyperhidrosis and Job Interviews

Do you avoid certain things because of your sweating?

All the time! Most recently, I avoided playing pool at a work outing.

RELATED: Hyperhidrosis and Avoidance

Do you find that hyperhidrosis affects your mental health? If so, in what ways and how do you cope?

No

What treatments for hyperhidrosis – if any – have you tried?

  • Certain Dri antiperspirant
  • Glycopyrrolate
  • Botox injections in my hands
  • Other topical antiperspirant creams for feet and hands
  • Iontophoresis, and
  • Being presented as a case study at Dermatology Grand Rounds at Massachusetts General Hospital

RELATED: Read my product review of Carpe and how it finally gave me some relief!

Is anything working for you to help you cope with your hyperhidrosis?

Yes. I cope as best I can through outlets like running, biking, being outside and also talk therapy, recharging with alone time, reading. I think I loved running and sports in general because I considered cross country and track the great equalizer for me…if you’re running your heart out in a 5k race, you’re supposed to be sweating.

What’s the worst thing about your hyperhidrosis?

The negative reactions I get from some people when shaking hands, etc.

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What do you think is the biggest misconception when it comes to hyperhidrosis?

That we sweat because we’re nervous and that somehow we can make it stop on demand.

What would you like to see in the future when it comes to treatments for hyperhidrosis?

Something that works and doesn’t have severe side effects or causes compensatory sweating. Also, more research into the genetics behind hyperhidrosis.

RELATED: The time I stood on stage and spoke to members of the FDA and pharma about hyperhidrosis

If you could tell the world only one thing about hyperhidrosis, what would it be?

Like any other medical condition, it’s not something we can help or control all the time.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about your sweaty story?

A few things come to mind when I think of how hyperhidrosis has impacted my life in recent years.

Getting Fingerprinted With Hyperhidrosis

The first is when I was repeating the MCAT while applying to medical school for the second time and I needed to provide an electronic fingerprint before testing for ID purposes. I was nervous because of the exam and so of course my hands were sweating profusely and my fingerprint wouldn’t register.

I tried explaining about hyperhidrosis and that at this point, wiping my hands on my jeans wasn’t going to do much. The exam proctors looked at me like I was crazy, didn’t have an inkpad to do a regular fingerprint, and suggested that they might not let me test.

Needless to say, I was in full panic by then and I don’t remember exactly how they decided to let me start the test, but I do remember sobbing quietly in front of my computer for several minutes before trying to pull myself together to begin the physics section.

Reader, I did not do well on the exam. My dermatologist gave me a letter explaining my hyperhidrosis to use another time, but in the end, I decided medical school was no longer for me because of this incident and many other incidents while working in a hospital and research labs.

Wearing a Cast With Hyperhidrosis

Last summer, I broke my wrist and pelvis in a bike crash. My wrist fracture was so severe that I required surgery to set the fracture and a metal plate along the bone. When the surgeon explained that the metal plate serves as an internal cast and I would be wearing a removable splint instead of a plaster cast, I was so thankful.

I had been dreading wearing a cast on my wrist for 6 weeks with hyperhidrosis and thinking my hand would basically just rot in the cast or they would have to make me a new cast every week.

sweaty hand after wearing a splint after surgery

Wearing a cast or splint on any limb is a concern if you have hyperhidrosis due to excessive sweat pooling in and around the covered area.

Luckily, too, I had occupational therapists who were not put off by my sweaty hands while they had to treat my wrist. Hyperhidrosis definitely still complicated things like keeping my stitches dry. I had to meticulously clean my splint and change the sleeve I wore underneath it frequently, but at least I didn’t have to suffer through an itchy, sweaty cast for most of the summer.

Do you have a sweaty story?

I’ve opened my blog to the larger hyperhidrosis community. If you’d like to be featured, please fill out the form on my Contact Me page. In the subject line, enter Guest Post. Not a writer? No worries! I can edit your story, send you questions to answer to create one, or you can record a video.

Let’s Raise Hyperhidrosis Awareness in the 2019 WEGO Health Awards

I am excited to announce I have been nominated for the WEGO Health Best in Show: Blog Award in the 2019 WEGO Health Awards. I’ve also been nominated for Best Kept Secret and Best Team Performance. If you nominated me, thank you!

Take just a few seconds to endorse me for this award!

WEGO Health is a mission-driven company connecting healthcare with the experience, skills, and insights of patient leaders. They are the world’s largest network of patient leaders, working across virtually all health conditions and topics. Click here to learn more about their Patient Leader Network.

The WEGO Health Awards were created to celebrate those who tirelessly support the mission of WEGO Health: to empower the patient voice.

With 16 award categories, the WEGO Health Awards are the only awards across all conditions and platforms that recognize the over 100k inspiring Patient Leaders who raise awareness, share information, and support their communities – but often without recognition.

My Hyperhidrosis Advocacy

Since my nomination in the 2018 awards, my puddle of hyperhidrosis hope and awareness has grown larger. I’ve been recognized for hyperhidrosis advocacy (directly or indirectly) in the following ways:

Endorse hyperhidrosis for the 2019 WEGO Health Awards

Help me raise hyperhidrosis awareness by taking just a few seconds to endorse me for the 2019 WEGO Health Awards!

How You Can Help

I’m now looking to my incredibly supportive network to help endorse me for this award. It takes just seconds of your time! Deadline is July 31, 2019

Visit my WEGO Health Awards profile and click “Endorse” under my nominee photo.

If I have ever supported you, made you laugh, or inspired you to keep fighting – please consider endorsing me for this award. Thank you.

Guest Post: Hyperhidrosis in Seattle

(Above Image Credit: Oakie @jetcityninja)

Please welcome Erin for my next guest post. Thank you, Erin, for having the courage to share your story. Welcome to the sweaty tribe.

My name is Erin, and I live in Seattle. I have hyperhidrosis on multiple parts of my body, but it’s my hands [palmar hyperhidrosis] and feet [plantar hyperhidrosis] that bother me the most and that I am the most willing to talk about here.

Erin lives in Seattle and has hyperhidrosis.

Feeling Unworthy of Touch

I can’t pinpoint the exact age when I realized that I sweated more than most people, but I know it was sometime in early elementary school. I remember having to walk down the hall to gym or art class, holding hands with my classmates and being asked, “Ew, why are your hands so wet?” It was a phrase I have heard countless times in my life since then (luckily not always with an ‘ew’) and one that always makes me feel untouchable.

My mom and older sister both have sweaty hands and feet like me, and so I had the luxury of someone to relate to and joke around with about our “problem.” Nonetheless, being extra sweaty has still bothered me almost every day of my life and only became worse as I hit puberty. And it always seems like my mom and sister are so much more cool about theirs.

Hyperhidrosis and Clothing

Because of my hyperhidrosis (Hh), I have always had to worry about what I wear, including:

  • whether I can wipe my hands on my pants to dry them
  • what clothes will hide my body sweat
  • what shoes to wear (rarely sandals!) to hide my feet.
sweaty feet in sandals

Erin’s sweaty feet (plantar hyperhidrosis) make finding “sweat-friendly” shoes difficult.

Because I have always been embarrassed by my Hh, most of my friends are probably still unaware that I suffer from it.

RELATED: My Friend Has Hyperhidrosis, and I Never Knew

Hyperhidrosis and Relationships

I am grateful for the people who have asked me about it in a compassionate way and still think of me the same way in spite of it.

A friend in middle school knew I had sweaty hands and that all she had to do was say the word ‘sweaty’ and my palms would start sweating. I hated it!

When my hands started sweating on command, she would laugh and laugh. I have always tried to avoid high fives, handshakes, and hand-holding, even if my hands are dry because I’m afraid that the next time they will be sweaty. However, sometimes it’s hard to avoid these things without seeming rude or antisocial, and so I would just end up giving someone a sweaty or clammy high-five.

RELATED: Things People With Hyperhidrosis Might Avoid

I was raised in a Christian family and went to church camp in the summer. I remember worrying about holding hands while praying, shaking hands when meeting new people [Me, too! Like this time I got downright angry after being asked to hold hands.], and bonding games like the human knot. I took piano and guitar lessons as a kid but always dreaded recitals or performances because that’s when my hands would drip with sweat while I played. When playing the piano, I worried about leaving sweat on the keys. At least with my guitar, no one else had to play it. I always kept sweat rags in my guitar case for that purpose.

sweaty hand

Sweaty hands affect everything, from hand holding to gripping objects to holding a child.

Trying Treatments for Hyperhidrosis

I never had a doctor diagnose me with hyperhidrosis, but I found the name of the condition on my own and only realized it was a thing just a few years ago. Since my mom and sister also have it, I just always thought of it as an unlucky genetic thing I had to deal with, not as an actual condition.

RELATED: Discovering I Had Hyperhidrosis

I remember seeing my pediatrician as a teenager and mentioning my sweaty hands and feet. When he asked me if I sweated anywhere else, I was too embarrassed to tell him that I did. He prescribed Drysol, and I remember trying it a bit but without much success. Years later, I tried it again and found that if I was consistent it helped a little, but sleeping with a pair of socks on my hands and feet every night is really annoying.

I have also had very dry skin and eczema on the back of my hands, particularly in the winter, because I wash my hands so much and I’m afraid to put on lotion as it can trigger my sweating.

RELATED: Hyperhidrosis and Skin Rashes

Most recently I went to a dermatologist and when I mentioned the word hyperhidrosis, she suggested trying a low dose of glycopyrrolate, which is supposed to reduce “bodily secretions.” As far as I understand, the drug is most often prescribed for people who drool excessively, but can also work for hyperhidrosis [this is known as an off-label use]. Unfortunately, I haven’t noticed a difference after a month of use. I am interested in trying iontophoresis, though I am worried about compensatory sweating. [Join the club. There are several stories on my blog about compensatory sweating, mine included.]

Hyperhidrosis and Marriage

I am lucky to be married to a wonderful man who once asked me about my sweaty hands when we were dating and since has told me several times that my Hh doesn’t bother him. Though I debated whether I wanted to have kids because I was afraid to pass along the gene, we ultimately decided it was still something we wanted, even with the risk. Now we have a one year old, and I just hope the gene skips her. I still worry about when she grows up and I’ll have to hold her hand crossing the street (or worse, one of her friends’ hands!).

RELATED: Getting Married? Tips for Coping With Hyperhidrosis on Your Big Day

What Others Should Know About What It’s Like to Live With Hyperhidrosis

I think the most important thing for me to tell other people is that I can’t help it, though I do admit that anxiety and thinking about sweating can make it worse.

I can sweat when I’m cold or when I’m hot. I’m sweating right now as I type this, thinking about how crazy I am for putting myself out there! However, I am so grateful to have found Maria and her My Life as a Puddle blog and to find there are so many other people out there with hyperhidrosis who are willing to put themselves out there. I admire all of you!

I hope that I can become braver as I continue to share my story and be more open about my Hh. I think even just being aware that I’m not alone has made me feel more at peace with my condition.

I’m hoping to try Carpe Lotion next as I learned about it from Maria’s blog. I hope in sharing my story others with hyperhidrosis will become more comfortable to share theirs. Thanks Maria for getting this started! [The pleasure is all mine, Erin. Thank you for using your sweaty voice.]

Do you have a sweaty story?

I’m opening up my blog to the larger hyperhidrosis community. If you’d like to be featured, please fill out the form on my Contact Me page. In the subject line, enter Guest Post. Not a writer? No worries! I can edit your story, send you questions to answer to create one, or you can record a video.

Guest Post: Hyperhidrosis in New Jersey

Meet Anonymous, 27, from New Jersey. She is a brave soul with hyperhidrosis who has chosen to share her sweaty story on My Life as a Puddle. I want my blog to be a safe space for those who find me, which is why this guest post is anonymous. Going public about our sweaty secret can be scary, but using our sweaty voices is the bravest thing we will ever do.

On what areas of your body do you experience hyperhidrosis?

I experience hyperhidrosis on my underarms, hands, and feet.

How did you discover that your excessive sweating is a recognized medical condition?

I was searching the Internet for excessive sweating and stumbled across information about hyperhidrosis. I didn’t know that it was even a condition that a lot of people suffered from.

RELATED: How I discovered I had hyperhidrosis

How does your hyperhidrosis impair your daily life?

I’ve had hyperhidrosis for most of my life. It affects me mentally and physically every day. I’m constantly thinking about it and worried that people are going to notice in public or social situations. I’ve gotten so used to hiding it that most people don’t know I have it.

Do you avoid certain things because of your sweating?

I avoid wearing color in public. I primarily wear black or black and white with patterns. If I have to wear a colored shirt, I’ll wear a cardigan over it. I avoid wearing rubber or leather sandals. I try to find sandals that have a suede bottom. I avoid shaking hands or holding hands because my hands are always sweating. If I could avoid summer altogether, I would.

RELATED: Hyperhidrosis and avoidance

What treatments for hyperhidrosis, if any, have you tried?

I’ve tried prescription antiperspirants in the past, but they haven’t worked.

Is anything working for you to help you cope with your hyperhidrosis?

Not really. I’ve switched over to using men’s antiperspirant because I think it’s stronger than women’s. I use Certain Dri clinical strength and extra strength. I also have an antiperspirant lotion that I use occasionally. However, none of these work that well for me, but it’s better than using nothing at all.

What’s the worst thing about your hyperhidrosis?

The constant worry and anxiety about whether my sweating will show in public. Wearing color and not being able to cover up my sweat is the worst thing ever. Having a puddle of water by my feet when my feet start to sweat and getting paper wet when I write is something that no one should have to go through.

RELATED: Some paper, pens, and pencils I like to use that work with sweaty hands

hand dripping with sweat

Anonymous, 27, suffers from palmar hyperhidrosis in addition to sweating on other areas of her body.

What would you like to see in the future when it comes to treatments for hyperhidrosis?

I would like to see more affordable options for treatments. Botox and other hyperhidrosis treatments are not covered by all insurances in the U.S.. For those of us who suffer and can’t afford these treatments, it’s not easy. We basically just have to keep suffering and using mediocre products that don’t work.

RELATED: My first Botox treatment for sweaty hands and why it made me launch this hyperhidrosis blog in the first place

If you could tell the world only one thing about hyperhidrosis, what would it be?

Overwhelming. It’s a condition that affects more people than you think. Some people have it worse than others, but we’re all suffering from the same thing.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about your sweaty story?

For years, I felt alone and embarrassed. I didn’t understand why I was sweating so much and other people around me didn’t. I still don’t understand it, but I’m happy that there are support groups and more information about this condition. I’m glad that I can share a story like this and possibly help someone who is going through the same thing.

RELATED: Read my article I wrote for SELF Magazine – Hyperhidrosis: Ten Things People With the Condition Wish You Knew

Do you have a sweaty story?

I’m opening up my blog to the larger hyperhidrosis community. If you’d like to be featured, please fill out the form on my Contact Me page. In the subject line, enter Guest Post. Not a writer? No worries! I can edit your story, send you questions to answer to create one, or you can record a video.

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