Living With Hyperhidrosis: My Story

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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!).

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About Author

I have had hyperhidrosis (palms and feet) since my childhood. I have tried/researched almost every treatment for hyperhidrosis over last decade, and in the process have acquired considerable experience that I hope will help others suffering with hyperhidrosis. I am happy to help you in whatever way I can to manage your excessive sweat problem - see the About page for more details and my contact information. Remember you are not alone, and that hyperhidrosis is entirely manageable with informed treatment. Good luck! PS: I recently published all that I have learnt about Hyperhidrosis in my book No Sweat! I encourage you to check that out as I believe its the best resource out there to understand and manage hyperhidrosis without falling for the miracle cures. Will love to hear your feedback on how to make it better.

10 Comments

  1. Zeljana Vukasovic on

    Hello,

    After reading about your own personal experience, I felt the need to relate and share my own experience with you. I too have struggled with sweaty palms and feet for most of my life, starting since puberty, but possibly even early childhood. I remember soaking exams at school, just like you have. It was so embarrassing and frustrating. There are times when my palms are super dry and then those when it’s opposite. I guess it depends on how stressful a situation is that I am confronted with. I tried the creams, almost considered trying botox treatment but I decided against it. I would like to try iontophoresis treatment. Where did you purchase the device and which seller would you recommend? Thank you.
    Zeljana Vukasovic

    • Hi Zeljana,

      Sorry to hear about your condition, and yes – I totally relate! Exams were the worst – high stress situation, and you definitely don’t want to make the paper wet!

      Anyways, Iontophoresis worked for me and I hope it does for you too. Depending upon where you are located, there are a few choices. If you are in US and can get a doctor prescription, you should get the Fischer Galvanic Machines. If you are in Europe – you probably want to get the Idromed PS (its a bit expensive, but very simple to operate). There are several other options, but these are what I recommend.

      You can see the reviews and buying options for these machines (and others) on this website.

  2. i am trying out iontophoresis for 3 days and was searching the internet for the cure. And I found sweat x laser? does that really work for hyperhidrosis on hands and feet? are they permanent??? If it works i think thats better and safer than getting surgery?

  3. My girlfriend’s dad had hyperhidrosis too and he told her that the excessive sweating disappeared for him as he got older…. My girlfriend and I both have hyperhidrosis so we’re just waiting to live with this until we age….lol

  4. I’m a 41 year old woman that has battled with excessive facial and head sweating. It has went in cycles over the years, but currently it seems to be peaking at its worse. It’s absolutely horrible. I can’t do very minor housework, like vacuuming without, more often than not, breaking out in a full on sweat. It’s so bad that it’s hard, or impossible, to turn off the faucet once it’s turned on. My hair stays drenched for hours after it happens. It’s humiliating. It’s effecting me being able to be employed and right now I’m without health insurance so I can’t see a dermatologist. A few years back I saw a dermatologist and he prescribed me propantheline. It worked great. Last month I got my doctor to give me that, but it absolutely is doing nothing for me. I’m sitting here on the couch typing this and I have sweat beads running down my face. I’ve completely had it. It’s effecting my life horribly. It’s embarrassing. I can’t do anything. Recently the onset has came on with a vengeance. I’m doing what I can do to try and figure out what triggers it. I’ve completely cut out caffeine without relief. I’ve also tried drinking apple cider vinegar. No one understands the toll this is taking on my life. Someone help me please and than you.

  5. Hello everyone, I just found this website and blog. It’s nice to see that I’m not completely alone out there in the vast, soggy world of “sweat”.
    So, here is a quick synopsis of my experience.
    I used to sweat from my head and neck. Any type of activity would bring it on, the problem was that it took forever to stop. I could be outside in the heat, sweat like a sieve from my head…go inside, but it would take at least 30 to 40 mins to calm down.
    That’s the beginning of my story.
    I heard about the hyperhidrosis surgery from a friend who raved about his results. Long story short…I had the surgery and it backfired horribly, The Surgeon told me he had only seen 3 cases of patients who ended up with “compensatory sweating”. I must’ve been the 4th, because immediately after the surgery, my entire trunk (from the nipples down) 😉 began to pour sweat. It was so much worse than sweating from my head. It was constant, rarely stopped and soaked my shirts and pants in about 30 minutes. I couldn’t sit down anywhere without leaving “my mark”, of sweat. Now I had a number of additional health issues like constant dehydration and constipation to name a few.
    I lasted three months like that and was basically told that having the surgery again (reversal surgery) would be my only option. Had the surgery, immediately sweat the bandages off and pretty much broke down. Nothing changed, not a single thing. I’m out of time right now, but will return with more history as soon as I get a free minute.
    It’s been a life altering nightmare from which I wouldn’t wish on any enemy (not that I have any enemies).

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