Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Winner of the second Golden Tiara Award: Samantha

I received an e-mail from a 20-year-old woman named Samantha, who generously shared her story and is interested in learning about treatment options for her hyperhidrosis. In the meantime, she is determined not to let her sweat stop her from living the life she wants. As she said, "We may not have control over our sweat, but we can control what we do about it."

Longtime readers of this blog might recall the first Golden Tiara award winner, Gretchen, a former Microsoft recruiter who offered job interview advice for people with hyperhidrosis. Look in the archives, July 2006, for the post.

Without further ado, here is Samantha's story:

I'm so glad to have found your blog. I know that there are other
people out there with HH, but I never personally knew anyone or came in contact
with the same problem I have. So, thank you for putting up this blog. It's
just comforting to know that someone does understand.

I'm a 20 year-old female. I've had HH ever since I was about 13 or so. Since then, I've always done the tricks that other people with this condition do: wear black or a sweater. I hate how limited my fashion is!

I sweat most of the day, but it's usually in cases where I'm surrounded by a lot of people, due to nervousness (like a job interview, being in front of the class), being the 'center of attention', being excited about something, or knowing that I'm going to have to shake someone's hand. I attend a Catholic church and at one point in during the mass we have to shake other people's hands and say "Peace be with you." I dread that part because I know the other people feel my sweaty and cold hands. Many times I've heard someone say "oh! You have cold hands!" or I would see them wipe their hand on their pants. It can get so embarrassing.

When it comes to treatment, I've used Drysol on my underarms, but I've read how dangerous Aluminum can be to the body. The other treatments involve a lot of money and I don't want to go through that. What treatments have you done/currently doing?

I guess for me, I'm going to have to deal with my anxiety, which may be the root of my HH. Anyway, as long as I have this HH, I'm not going to let it stop me from doing the things I want to do. For example, going to church. I was tempted to skip church on Sundays so I wouldn't have to shake anyone's hands, but when I thought about it, why should I let something such as
that get in the way of my life?

We may not have control over our sweat, but we can control what we do about it. I've put myself in many situations in which I would get nervous and start sweating profusely. Yes, it was uncomfortable at the time, but it was something I wanted to do (like attending a meeting!). I live in California and plan on studying in Spain this summer for a month. I'm sure it'll be hot and humid by the time I get there, which means a lot of sweat, but I won't let this sweating get in the way.


Tiara here:

Thank you, Samantha, for sharing your story. To answer your question, I found that drysol works for underarm sweat, but I too am concerned about the aluminum. I have yet to find a good option for hands and feet, but am trying to find a doctor who will give me iontophoresis treatment. Thanks again for sharing your story, and keep us posted!

Best wishes,

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