In this weeks post we’ll be answering some of the most common questions on Hyperhidrosis from treatments to what effects it has.
Q: What is hyperhidrosis?
A: Hyperhidrosis IS a skin disease caused by over-reactive sweat glands. The glands trigger the body to start sweating to cool the body down and produces up to five times more sweat than the average person across the body; most commonly in the hands, feet, underarms and face.
Q: What causes it?
A: There’s two types of Hyperhidrosis – Primary and Secondary. Primary Hyperhidrosis is often inherited whereas Secondary HH is secondary to another medical condition.
Q: How many people suffer from Hyperhidrosis?
A: Hyperhidrosis is thought to affect between one and five percent of the population – that’s millions of people across the world however due to the sigma associated with sweating, the true number could be higher.
Q: Can it be treated?
A: Hyperhidrosis can’t be completely cured however there are a number of options to help reduce the sweating. A doctor will start by prescribing strong anti-antiperspirants to see if they make a difference and if they don’t may refer you to Iontophoresis. This is a treatment where your hands and feet are placed into trays of water with a painless electrical current passed through. There’s also other medications such as tablets, Botox injects and surgery.
Q: How else does Hyperhidrosis affect someone?
A: Hyperhidrosis isn’t just a physical condition, it’s can also have huge psychological effects. Sweating is a taboo subject so many people shy away from shaking hands, socialising and even doing basic tasks such as holding paper or trying to write.
Q: Does sweat smell?
A: Sweat is mainly water so doesn’t have an odour however sometimes bacteria is released with the sweat which causes a smell. Washing and using an anti-antiperspirant should help with sweating and any odour.
Having hyperhidrosis is challenging – you can’t do simple tasks like shaking hands, it makes us not want to socialise, and commuting during the warm weather is a nightmare. But how is the Corona Virus lockdown affecting ourselves?
It might sound ideal not having to meet colleagues in person; no excuses for not being able to shake hands, no paperwork slowly disintegrating in your hands, no sweat marks on your shirt and less blushing. A Zoom meeting can solve all of those issues and without the need to wear a suit and sweat from head to toe, maybe even with a fan hidden behind your laptop.
But what psychological effect does it have on us? Whilst we might not want to see other people to avoid embarrassment, is it something that we need – reassurance that others don’t care about our sweating; they still treat us normally? Or you might feel the opposite that being able to work from home gives you a sense of freedom like never before, without having to worry constantly.
Speaking to the Metro Newspaper here’s what these people thought.
Bethany, 27, UK:
“It’s great that I don’t have to go to business meetings or interact with people day-to-day, and that I can just use the phone to communicate and don’t have to touch anyone. It’s made me a lot more confident; I can wear what I want to be comfortable”
Andrea, 35, Cincinnati, Ohio:
The current situation is terrible, but it’s quite nice to not have the pressure of shaking someone’s hand,’ she says. ‘I think that after this pandemic, things will get even better for people with hyperhidrosis because people will be more concerned about colds and viruses, and wary about touching each other.
How is Coronavirus or lockdown affecting your Hyperhidrosis? Let us know over in our forum.
Welcome to Very Sweaty Betty – a brand new independently owned Hyperhidrosis Support Group – run by sufferers for sufferers.
Established in 2020, we want to create a shared space for Hyperhidrosis sufferers to connect with others around the world to share their experiences and to support one another with this challenging condition.
With our website and forum, we aim to bring people who sweat excessively together to share advice and tips on how to cope with this isolating condition. In addition to those who know about Hyperhidrosis, we also want to educate friends, family and colleagues on the daily challenges that we face.
In addition to the VSB website we’ve also created a forum for people to interact and share their experiences. Our forum is completely free to join and covers everything from Hyperhidrosis symptoms to treatments and recommended products.
Over the coming weeks, months, and hopefully years, we’ll also be looking forward to sharing YOUR hyperhidrosis stories on our website; which you can post in our forum.
We are a brand new support group with no association to any others past or present and as we are run by sufferers, the information on our website/forum should not be inferred as medical advice.