Please welcome Melanie from the 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.
On what areas of your body do you experience hyperhidrosis (Hh)?
I experience hyperhidrosis on my feet, hands, armpits, and neck.
How did you discover that your excessive sweating is a recognized medical condition?
My mom took me to the doctor when I was about twelve because of excessive sweating and night sweats.
How does your hyperhidrosis impair your daily life?
Hyperhidrosis impairs my daily life in many ways, from relationships with others due to social anxiety attached to the excessive sweating to dreading tests. I used to sweat all over my tests in school, which could make it difficult to even read my answers. Thank God for today’s technology and online tests.
Do you avoid certain things because of your sweating?
Though we’re past it now, I do avoid holding my husband’s hand at times because of the sweat. I definitely avoid wearing certain clothing due to the fear of sweat stains. I stick to a lot of cotton and wear a lot of layers to hide it. I am rarely seen without socks on and avoid sandals at all costs.
Do you find that hyperhidrosis affects your mental health? If so, in what ways and how do you cope?
I actually have other mental health issues, so it’s one of those situations of wondering what came first: the chicken or the egg? I do think the hyperhidrosis actually was cause for a lot of my social anxiety when I was younger. Kids can be cruel, and because they didn’t understand it was a medical condition, there were times I was actually called gross or asked why my hands were soaking wet so that embarrassment definitely affected my mental health at times. I will say, though, now that I am more upfront and honest about it, things are really looking up. I’m able to embrace this as a part of who I am, which has helped with that aspect of life.
What treatments for hyperhidrosis – if any – have you tried?
I tried a medication prescribed to me by that first doctor my mom took me to, though after several months it didn’t seem to be helping. Extra strength deodorant or using men’s deodorant has helped a bit, but not much. For a while, I’d put baby powder on my feet and armpits in the morning to help absorb everything, but nothing really seemed to help much. I use Carpe lotion today, thanks to finding the recommendation on this blog and, wow, it’s the first thing that’s worked.
Is anything working for you to help you cope with your hyperhidrosis?
Being open about it, embracing it as a part of who I am, understanding it as a medical condition and being accepted are all things that have helped me to better cope with this. Being mindful of what I wear, what’s comfortable for me, and hanging out with people who accept me for me has definitely helped. My husband has also made me feel much less self-conscious about it so that’s wonderful and I’m grateful to him.
What’s the worst thing about your hyperhidrosis?
I think the worst thing is that it affects my job. Unfortunately. I work in health care and it’s very hands-on, so sometimes having to help patients with my cold, clammy hands is not the most glamorous thing, and I hate having to explain it to people but luckily I get to wear gloves. It’s just the gloves pooling with sweat that can get pretty uncomfortable and then my hands dry out and it’s a mess, but I love my job and won’t give it up just due to a little (or a lot of) sweat.
What do you think is the biggest misconception when it comes to hyperhidrosis?
I don’t think many people have even heard of it, but if I had to pick one misconception, probably that those of us who sweat a lot have poor hygiene or something. In actuality, I usually shower twice a day and am washing my hands all the time due to the sweating so I might be even cleaner.
What would you like to see in the future when it comes to treatments for hyperhidrosis?
I’d love to just see more awareness of this condition because it took a couple doctor’s trips to realize this was a medical condition and also to learn that it wasn’t just sweating from anxiety.
If you could tell the world only one thing about hyperhidrosis, what would it be?
IT’S REAL! And it really affects the lives of those of us with hyperhidrosis. It’s not just “a little sweat” but we’re also just people. It doesn’t change who we are. We’re still your friend, your family member, your acquaintance. Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition just like any other. It’s something we fight daily and something we courageously push through daily.
Do you have a sweaty story?
Do 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.
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