As many of you know, I have struggled with Hyperhidrosis throughout my life (or at least since I was 10).
How it began
I noticed it first while writing exams in the school when the answer sheet would get soaked, smearing the ink (yes, we used to use ink pens then!) on the paper, rendering it unreadable. Everyone assumed that that was because I was nervous about the exams, but I knew something was wrong with my sweating mechanism. However, nobody ever thought of it being a medical condition and I did not see a doctor for a long time.
How Hyperhidrosis Impacted My Life
As I became an adult, that's when then serious social repercussions of excessive sweat really hit me. It affected everywhere – I could sense (atleast in my mind if not in real) that people did not want to shake hands with me. I was weary of putting my hands on the table as the sweat smears would disgust others. I was always looking for excuses on why my hands sweated that much (my feet did so too, but feet are much easier to manage and nobody really cared about excessive sweating feet – hands were my real problem). Adolescent romantic life was a mess as I could never muster courage to hold hands and was “distant”
Treatment I Tried For Hyperhidrosis
I lived with the condition for better part of my life without even knowing that it was a medical condition. Fortunately, about 7 years back I discovered the term hyperhidrosis over internet, and was very sure that I had it!
I tried almost every treatment offered on internet – from the “miracle cures” offered through $50 e-books (they don't work, trust me!) to any other methods prescribed by so called experts on internet. Nothing really changed, except that I spent a small fortune and was more frustrated.
I finally decided to see a doctor then, and am so glad I did! He confirmed that I had hyperhidrosis, and told me that it was nothing unusual or something to be embarrassed about. I tried over the counter antiperspirants (they did work), as well as oral medication (that worked too, but I don't like popping pills every day). Finally I found iontophoresis and life hasn't been the same since then. Iontophoresis has worked well for me – its effective for me, and I don't need to do it everyday (and I am not injecting medicine in my body). I even considered Endoscopic thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) surgery, but after a lot of research, decided against that.
My Hyperhidrosis Today
I still cannot claim to have treated myself completely – the sweaty palms do return in stressful situations, or when I miss my iontophoresis treatment for a long time. However, overall, I would rate my satisfaction with current state of my excessive sweat on palms about 7 out of 10.
Do I wish I never had hyperhidrosis – ofcourse! However, given that I was born with it, I am happy to know that its not something that I cannot manage with some effort. I do wish that someday medical science makes progress to offer a real, long lasting solution.
I am actually pretty hopeful about microwave technologies like MiraDry and would follow those closely in coming years.
Writing About My Hyperhidrosis Story – Why?
Through this blog, I have tried to share the learning I gathered through the years of trying out various solutions to contain this condition, and am happy to hear from some of you that it has been useful.
Some of you have also written to me sharing your own stories – I thank you for that, and will encourage you to post your stories here for others to get a better understanding of hyperhidrosis and how you dealt with it (no commercial promotions please!).