Do you ever wonder what you can do to help someone who suffers from hyperhidrosis? If you don’t already know the details of his or her condition, I would encourage you to take the time to ask questions so you can learn in what areas he or she might need extra support. My friends and family all know that I have HH, and since I am comfortable enough with them to be open about it, they have naturally learned to be good hosts when I am visiting their homes. Here’s a partial list of things you can do to make your guests with HH feel more comfortable:
Open the windows in your home to generate fresh air; dead air is bad news for people with HH.
Turn down your thermostat a few degrees to make the temperature cooler while the person will be visiting
Place a fan in the room where you’ll be spending the most time to generate some air flow.
Offer to open the umbrella on the patio and let the person with HH sit directly under it away from the sun and heat.
Turn on your ceiling fan(s).
Give them a small hand towel or burping cloth when they hold your baby so they can dab off the sweat.
Encourage them to hold your child even though they might be worried about making the child wet and uncomfortable (I’ve gotten lucky and some of the kids I hold are sweaty so it doesn’t matter anyway. :-))
Let them sit in the front seat of the car if you’re driving somewhere so they can have direct access to the AC vents.
Offer to open the car windows for increased airflow, even if it might make you a little chilly.
Start your car a few minutes in advance so the AC has a chance to cool down the car before everyone piles in.
If you have leather seats, place a towel in your car, especially in the summer, to avoid sticky legs and wet clothes. That simple layer of fabric can make us feel much more comfortable during the car ride.
If we’re talking weddings and bridesmaids, create a sweat-friendly environment by allowing simple modifications to footwear (eg, if you say “strappy shoes”, allow them to be close-toed or have a few more straps to prevent slipping and sliding) and bouquets (eg, wrap a washcloth around the middle section of the bouquet where the hands will cover it, sew a towel around the handle of the bouquet, carry a handkerchief that can do double duty as a sweat and tear absorber).
If you’re in a buffet line, offer to carry the person’s plate and fill it for them.
When dining out, ask the person with HH if they prefer to sit inside or outside. Depending on the temperature, they’ll be able to tell you where they will feel most comfortable.
Don’t ask someone with HH to carry out tasks that might involve direct hand-to-hand contact (eg, monitoring and passing out a microphone during a Q&A session at a meeting)
If you don’t allow shoes to be worn inside your home, tell the person with HH; he or she can plan in advance to bring a pair of socks so your floors won’t get footprints on them. Or, you could make an exception and allow shoes, or provide a basket of socks at the front door for all guests.
This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list. I can come up with a slew of other ideas, but what about you? Are there certain things you’ve done to help someone cope with HH? What have you asked for to help you with your own HH?
Copyright © 2011 My Life as a Puddle