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.
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.
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.
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
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.