This is a hard post for me to write, but I believe in using my experience to help others with their struggles. Did you know approximately 15.3 million people are affected by Hyperhidrosis in the United States alone?
So what is Hyperhidrosis? Hyperhidrosis is characterized as excessive sweating outside of “normal” sweaty activities like exercise or hot weather. Hyperhidrosis can affect the scalp, hands, armpits, feet, or face. A person worn Hyperhidrosis can have one area affected or all of the above areas affected.
I remember on my very first day of middle school I chose a bright orange glitter softball tee from Limited Too. I thought I was super cool. I didn’t realize I was sweating through in the armpits until some girls in my class questioned me about it. (Such typical middle school girl behavior) I was so embarrassed. I’m affected by Hyperhidrosis only in my armpits. I’ve always been a fashion lover, but from that day on my fashion choices changed.
I hoped it was something temporary, some byproduct of puberty that I would grow out of. But by the time I was in high school, I was still dealing with it. Back then there weren’t as many options, and nothing over the counter. I eventually got a prescription strength deodorant. This one required application at night and irritated the crap out of my skin. It didn’t work.
By the time I was a senior in high school, my situation was better, but it wasn’t perfect. I became a little more confident in what I could wear, but still spent a ton of time with my arms pinned to my side. No deodorant helped.
Fortunately products for Hyperhidrosis became somewhat more common when I was a upperclassman in college and I found Secret and Degree clinical strength to be effective 75% of the time for me. Still 25% of the time I was dealing with the stigma of Hyperhidrosis.
All of my general doctors seemed to believe this was good enough treatment and since this wasn’t a pressing medical issue I should just live with it. Dissatisfied. But I began to believe this too. This wasn’t going to kill me and I just needed to deal.
It’s been suggested that Botox shots can help Hyperhidrosis afflicted areas. But at the time this wasn’t something I could afford.
5 years ago I went to the dermatologist for my annual skin check. (Definitely do this if you’re out in the sun a lot or prone to moles like I am) I finally got up the courage to tell her what I had been dealing with, worried that she would be another doctor who didn’t think it was a big deal.
Fortunately, she was a good doctor who suggested a prescription pill I could take and y’all that was life changing. While there is no pill specifically for Hyperhidrosis. Robinul, which is what I take was intended for stomach ulcers, but a side effect is it dries up glands.
Worked like a charm for me. Sweating is still an important body function. You don’t want to stop it completely, and on this drug I still sweat in situations where I need to like hot temps and working out.
If you’re dealing with Hyperhidrosis, you’re not alone. I’m talking about this today to break the stigma and raise awareness in this as a valid medical condition. If you’re faced with doctors who don’t think it’s a big deal keep trying until you find someone who cares.
Hyperhidrosis affects your mental health and that is a big deal!