For November’s Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month, help raise awareness that extreme sweating needs attention, treatment, and understanding so we can all be our best. Tell the world – excessive sweating is too much!
If you’ve been following my hyperhidrosis blog for any length of time, you may have heard about my very special friend Jess who has hyperhidrosis. She lives in the UK and is now 10 years old. She – like so many of us who have uncontrollable excessive sweating – is busting her own myths about hyperhidrosis this month in honor of Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month. One of them is:
Myth: People with sweaty hands (palmar hyperhidrosis) can’t write or draw.
Fact: Yes, they can. They just might need a few modifications first.
Hyperhidrosis and School
Does your child struggle in school because of their hyperhidrosis? If so, I encourage parents and guardians to advocate on their behalf and tell the teachers what they need in order to be understood and to be successful learners. Jess’ mom, Hayley, did exactly that and has given me permission to post Jess’ Hyperhidrosis School Action Plan to help other kids who struggle with excessive sweating in the classroom.
Hyperhidrosis School Action Plan
Here is an example of what you and your child can give to their teachers and other school professionals to help them understand what hyperhidrosis is, what the daily struggles are when living with it, and what they can to do help these sweaty students succeed.
Things That Are Hard for Me
- My hands are wet most of the day and night. 💧
- My feet sweat and soak my socks.
- I hate the feel of my feet being wet.
- When its PE or sports day and its hot outside, I’m a lot slower than I usually am because of my feet making a squeaky noise in my shoes, which is making my feet feel really uncomfortable.
- Whenever it’s a new school year, I have to start it off in pencil because we don’t get our pens back so I can’t write with a normal pencil because my hands slip down it.
- I can’t use wet ink pens. Where my hand has been, the paper is wet so the ink will run or it will spread.
- I choose my clothes by what they feel like or if I could dry my hands on them.
Things We Have Changed To Help
- I have flannels that I use to dry my hands. They have to feel rough to help; if they are soft, they feel like a teddy bear and don’t dry.
- I have to change my socks as soon as I get home.
- I wear socks in the shower, which is why I don’t go swimming.
- Because I have wet marks on my socks, when I get home I have to get in the shower straight away otherwise it makes me feel horrible.
- I have my own pens and pencils where my grips fit onto both of them making it easier for me to write with them, but I still struggle a lot with my writing.
- I use ballpoint pens instead. The ink doesn’t smudge or run.
- Sometimes I skip pages in my book because the page I was leaning on gets wet.
Things That Have Improved So Far
- I used to get pins and needles feelings if water touched my hands when they were sweaty. I don’t get this anymore😊
- I have cream from Alder Hey, which I am hoping will start to make my hyperhidrosis better.
- In school whenever we do a lesson I struggle with or I don’t really enjoy, that’s when my hands sweat the most.
- I can’t do my work fast enough because nearly every 2 or 3 words I have to stop and dry my hands, which means most of the time it cuts into my break time, even if I try my hardest to work fast.
- My emotions affect my condition. If I get upset, stressed, worried, angry or someone touches my hands, then I get so angry which makes my hands worse. It will carry on throughout the whole day and most of the time it drags into the evening when I’m at home and that’s when it really gets too me.
- When we are playing heads down thumbs up (Heads Up 7Up in the USA) in school at the end of the day, I never get tapped on my thumb no matter how dry I try to make my thumb look. It’s only ever my close friends who pick me, so it means I can’t have a turn up in front of the class and even if I do, they will know it is me because of the feel of my hands being wrinkly and wet.
- When I’m at home like after school or weekends, I have as much time as I want to draw. When I draw, my hands don’t sweat as much so I’m happier.
- It doesn’t just happen when I’m hot or in school, it happens any time of the year and every single day, unless I’m calm or drawing.
What We Can Do Next
I would like to ask all my teachers to do my sweaty test:
- You have to put Vaseline all over your hands, in between your fingers and halfway down your wrists.
- Don’t rub it off!
- Next put Vaseline on your feet and put wet socks on.
- Now do what you need to do for the day.
- Try writing, taking a lid off something, white board markers are a good one to try! See if you can write a piece of work without smudging it.
- How many bits of fluff got stuck to you?
- How did it make you feel?
I would really like to know who tries it. Could you let me know outside of class?
Since Jess and her parents have submitted this Hyperhidrosis School Action Plan to her teachers, things are getting better for her in the classroom. In order to make note taking easier for Jess while she’s in school, she now has a laptop she can type notes on rather than handwriting them on paper. It’s simple accommodations like this that can make a world of difference for our young learners who have to deal with excessive sweating on a daily basis. This action plan will look different for everyone, especially if it’s not your hands that sweat.
What about you? What would your action plan look like? What would you request specifically to make your world of learning a little bit drier? Tell me in the comments below!