My Life as a Puddle

Creating hyperhidrosis hope and awareness one drop at a time.

Category: Hyperhidrosis (page 1 of 21)

I Have Sweaty Hands, and I Can’t Pet My Dog

I had to put down my dog last week. Maya the Pug was 14 years old. Her health had been declining over the last few years, and her troubles progressed to the point that I knew it was time. So what does this have to do with hyperhidrosis?

In the last moments of her life, my hands were sweating so badly that it made it difficult for me to pet my sweet dog and say goodbye.

People may not realize how hyperhidrosis (excessive uncontrollable sweating) can affect people’s lives. This is just one of thousands of examples I could give you. When getting close to someone or something matters most, our sweating can get in the way.

As I prepared to let Maya take her final breaths here on Earth before she crossed the rainbow bridge, I was already sweating. We had a licensed professional come to our home for the procedure rather than taking her to the vet and coming home without her.  Normally when people come over, my hands and feet are sweaty for awhile. For some reason, the doorbell is a trigger for my hyperhidrosis. My puddles started and continued until the technician left with my dog bundled in a blanket.

As she walked us through the procedure and how long it would take, we sat on the rug in the family room holding our sweet girl. We hadn’t vacuumed, and at that point did it really even matter? I had socks on, so her fur stuck to my socks and not to my bare feet. It’s a rare occurrence you’ll find me walking around without socks on anyway. Leave wet footprints everywhere? No thanks.

As Maya began to relax, my husband was the one holding her. I didn’t feel like I could because my hands were soaking wet. Instead of using my palm to pet her, I flipped it over and stroked her soft fur with the back of my hand instead. This was not a moment where I needed to worry about my hyperhidrosis, yet here it was regardless, getting in the way of saying goodbye to my fur baby that’s seen me through so many of life’s moments, both wet and dry.

While I know Maya didn’t care about how sweaty my hands were, I cared. How could I not notice it when it became a physical barrier to authentic connection with my dog?

Maybe you’re not familiar with hyperhidrosis yet, and that’s okay. The next time you come across someone with an excessive sweating problem, I encourage you to toss aside any instantaneous judgments or reactions you might have. It’s not just a little sweat, no big deal, everyone sweats, or whatever other thoughts might run through your brain. Those who deal with it can’t escape it. Yes, we can control the thoughts we think and how we navigate life with excessive sweating.  We can decide not to have a victim mentality because of our hyperhidrosis. But sometimes, we just want to pet our animals like everyone else.

Maya the Pug

In loving memory of Maya the Pug 2005-2020

My Journey Toward a Hyperhidrosis Diagnosis

Do you have sweaty hands, sweaty feet, sweaty armpits, or a sweaty head or face? You might have hyperhidrosis (uncontrollable excessive sweating).

Getting a diagnosis of hyperhidrosis can be the first step toward an action plan for finding treatments for excessive sweating. Here’s some info about my journey – and it was a loooong journey – toward learning what hyperhidrosis is and actually getting a definitive reason as to why I’m always so sweaty. My sweaty story starts at around age seven. Read more about my experience recording this patient perspective video.

I waited until I was about age 12 in sixth grade before I finally asked my mom, Why are my hands always so sweaty? What’s wrong with me?

I delayed seeking further medical attention because it didn’t seem like there were a lot of things out there to help me treat my excessive sweating, so I just kind of dealt with it all through middle school and up through high school.

I avoided things like joining the band. I chose choir instead, because I didn’t feel like I could hold an instrument with my hands dripping with sweat.

Then around age 19, I started doing internet searches on my own, and I came across the term hyperhidrosis. But the first websites that I clicked on were all touting the surgery called ETS. Reminder when doing research about hyperhidrosis on the internet: many links that come up in the first page of search results could be paid advertising by companies or clinics looking for more candidates for ETS surgery.

While this surgery can be successful, I have met people in person and online who deeply regret having this surgery due to the devastating side effect of compensatory sweating (CS), which is worse than their original sweating. Practice due diligence when looking for treatments for hyperhidrosis. Only you can decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks for any procedure or treatment.

You can read firsthand accounts of people who got ETS surgery right here on my blog, like Leann from Ontario and Carrie from Ohio.

It took me a couple of years longer to find a nonprofit website called the International Hyperhidrosis Society, and that was where I first heard the medical term hyperhidrosis and finally knew what it was that I had.

Video footage is courtesy of Pharmacy Times Continuing Education (PTCE) and is from their continuing medical education activity titled Examining Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating): A Managed Markets Update on New Treatments, Featuring a Patient Perspective, which was featured as a supplement in the December 2018 edition of the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC).

Guest Post: Hyperhidrosis in Arkansas

Please welcome Beth from Arkansas 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.

On what areas of your body do you experience hyperhidrosis?

I have palmar hyperhidrosis (sweaty hands) and plantar hyperhidrosis (sweaty feet).

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

I was definitely an adult and was just googling “excessive sweating” one day. I had never realized it was an actual medical condition. My family had always told me I would grow out of it!

RELATED: How I discovered I had hyperhidrosis

RELATED: Hyperhidrosis Life Hacks for the Doctor’s Office

How does your hyperhidrosis impair your daily life?

I’m an office manager in a small law firm, so I’m constantly handling important paperwork that will get wet or crumpled if I’m not careful.

My phone handset is often dripping once I get off of a long phone call.

I dread meeting new clients or having sales meetings with vendors because of the inevitable, dreaded handshake.

I pride myself in being a competent, fairly self-confident person, and I hate that many folks’ first impression of me is a sweaty handshake.

I’ve also been a hobbyist artist my entire life, dabbling in lots of different media. I can remember as kid wearing winter gloves while drawing so I wouldn’t smear my work! Nowadays my focus is landscape photography, which is a little more sweat-forgiving. Specifically I love hiking to and photographing waterfalls in my home state of Arkansas. When you’re out in the woods, nobody cares if you’re sweaty!

Arkansas waterfall photo taken by Beth despite having hyperhidrosis

One of Beth’s hobbies is landscape photography. She says, “When you’re out in the woods, nobody cares if you’re sweaty!”

Do you avoid certain things because of your sweating?

  • Absolutely. I often dread meeting new people in general because of the threat of a handshake.
  • I don’t wear sandals usually, even in the hottest days of summer, because my feet slip around in them too much.
  • I always wear at least one item of dark clothing to work so I have something that will soak up my hand sweat discreetly.
  • One activity I can specifically think of is acroyoga, basically partner/acrobatic yoga. It was so much fun the few times I tried it, but I couldn’t get past being uncomfortable with others having to touch my hands and feet.

RELATED: Hyperhidrosis & Yoga

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

It has definitely made me feel depressed and insecure, especially when I was a teenager (and occasionally to this day). Now that I am an adult, although it still bothers and annoys me, I have tried to see my hyperhidrosis as more of an obstacle to work through than as a barrier. I try to re-frame my negative thoughts into something more along the lines of, “Wow, if I can do X-Y-Z while sweating profusely, I can do anything!”

RELATED: How are you talking to yourself because of your hyperhidrosis?

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

sweaty hand also known as palmar hyperhidrosis

Beth’s sweaty hands make handling office paperwork difficult in addition to meeting and greeting clients and having to shake hands.

The only treatment I have tried is prescription-strength antiperspirant on my hands and feet (as directed by a dermatologist) but without much success. I was really surprised to read about all the different treatments discussed on Maria’s hyperhidrosis blog and other places online, as my derm has only mentioned Botox to me, which I wasn’t that jazzed about.

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

What’s the worst thing about your hyperhidrosis?

More than anything I just hate the self-consciousness that comes with hyperhidrosis.

Instead of just going about my day normally as everyone else does, I’m constantly analyzing and worrying about when my sweat will come into play and how I can work around it.

Having to carefully pick out my shoes, for instance, is really annoying! Of course I’d love to wear those cute strappy sandals, but my feet will be wet and slippery all day! Yuck.

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

I have hyperhidrosis and didn’t even know it was a real condition up until a few years ago. So many people must have no idea why I’m so sweaty when they touch me and think I must be super nervous or something. I’m not even sure what other misconceptions there could be, because I don’t think that many people even know what hyperhidrosis is!

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

I would really like dermatologists to familiarize themselves with a range of different treatments for hyperhidrosis. I don’t live in a huge city, but was surprised when I learned (from the Internet) I had other options besides just antiperspirants or Botox. And of course I’d love to see an actual cure someday!

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

It’s a real condition. Please try to be understanding, and don’t grimace when you shake my hand please!

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

Thanks again so much for your blog. I have gotten some great tips and plenty of comfort reading your, and others’, stories.

(Thank you, Beth! I’m glad you found me.)

Do you have a sweaty story?

share your sweaty storyDo you have hyperhidrosis? 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 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.

Guest Post: Hyperhidrosis in South Central Massachusetts

Please welcome Guin from south central Massachusetts 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. 

On what areas of your body do you experience hyperhidrosis? 

I sweat excessively on my head (craniofacial hyperhidrosis) and on my torso.

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

I talked to my doctor about profusely sweating.

RELATED: Hyperhidrosis Life Hacks for the Doctor’s Office

How does your hyperhidrosis impair your daily life? 

I can’t be as active as I used to be. I miss social events. I have to make excuses when I’m just about to start sweating. I always have to plan ahead.

Do you avoid certain things because of your sweating? 

Physical activity on a warm day. It really is limiting.

RELATED: Things People Avoid Because of Hyperhidrosis

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

I’m more paranoid and concerned about whether I’m offending anyone with my sweating. Hyperhidrosis is embarrassing and depressing.

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

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

I’ve tried medication and chiropractic medicine.

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

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

Glycopyrrolate, but I was also on pain meds for a chronic pain condition. The glycopyrrolate stopped my sweat, and I was so excited. But the minute I stopped taking the pain meds, I started dripping sweat all over again even though I was on a high dose of the glycopyrrolate.

What’s the worst thing about your hyperhidrosis? 

I feel like I can’t do anything, and I hate how people look at me with disgust.

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

My excessive sweating is not because I’m overweight, and I’m not dirty.

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

Something to cure this awful condition

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

There are studies that hyperhidrosis could be a genetic condition. I’m sorry, but I want this gone.

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

I am extremely frustrated with my hyperhidrosis, and there isn’t one solution for everyone.

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!

That’s a Wrap! Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month

Thank you for participating in Stand Together for Hyperhidrosis, my theme this year for Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month.

If you missed all the videos of Jess from the UK, my special guest for the month of November, make sure you’re following me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter so you don’t miss any other hyperhidrosis news. In the meantime, here’s a recap of all the things this brave little lady had to say. You might need to turn up the volume quite a bit (sorry for the technical difficulties).

I am grateful for many things this month; one of them is you. Thank you for joining me here for a conversation I never thought I’d be leading. 💦

Hyperhidrosis is under-recognized and under-treated, but talking about it like Jess did can help advance awareness. Using our sweaty voices might just be the bravest thing we’ll ever do. And when we speak up, we find others who have it, too. You are not alone, and there is always hope that one day we will have a cure for excessive sweating. Until then, I am grateful for all of you who follow my hyperhidrosis blog and social media and have the courage to interact with and leave comments for me.

If you’re one of my silent followers who don’t like, follow or comment on any of my posts for fear your sweaty secret will be outed, I see you, too. You matter. 💙

Hyperhidrosis makes us imperfect, and I’m glad. Perfection is overrated, and there’s no such thing as perfect anyway. Our sweaty condition can make us feel different, cast out from society, embarrassed or ashamed. The choice is yours whether you decide to allow those feelings to turn into thoughts that play on a loop in your head.

pairs of roller skates

Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we are all in this together. -Brene Brown

Another Hyperhidrosis Chat

Grab a mug of tea (or your preferred beverage of choice) and join me for a discussion on hyperhidrosis with Lauren from The Slippery Yogi.

Maria and Lauren discuss hyperhidrosis on The Slippery Yogi podcast

In this podcast episode, you’ll learn:

  • How I got started as a hyperhidrosis advocate
  • What my sweaty community means to me
  • How writing about hyperhidrosis helped me deal with my excessive sweating
  • Why hyperhidrosis is more than just a skin condition
  • What the most rewarding experience for me has been thus far
  • Advice for those struggling with hyperhidrosis

Happy listening! Tune in below, or find The Slippery Yogi wherever you enjoy your podcasts.

Listen to me talk about hyperhidrosis on The Slippery Yogi podcast.

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

Got hyperhidrosis? How’s your self-talk?

Today is #WorldKindnessDay. While it’s important to be kind to others, how kind are you to yourself?

Do you talk down to yourself because of your hyperhidrosis? 💦 Does your sweaty inner monologue sound like a freight train 🚂 of negativity?

Rocking a cardigan Mr. Rogers style for World Kindness Day #cardiganday

If the things you say to yourself aren’t how you would talk to your friends, make the choice to change your story.

A chapter of hyperhidrosis is your diagnosis and how you navigate life to cope with it. But friends, it doesn’t have to be the whole book! 📖 You are more than your health condition. How about you act like it? 💙

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