Hyperhidrosis is basically just a fancy word for excessive sweating & yes, that is my perfect imperfection that I choose to share with all of you to hopefully inspire you to not feel too bad about your own perfect imperfection! Cuz hey.. what's worse than your hands and feet dripping with sweat all day? According to me, not much :)
I've dealt with this 'illness' from I was born and lemme tell you, it might be hard as a grown up but it's tough on a different level as a kid. Kids can be mean, flat out brutal to each other which I know is 'learned' behavior cuz no one is BORN mean! But that's a different blog. Whatever the cause, it was hard. I didn't want to hold hands with the kids at school because it was embarrassing - what do you tell kids who ask why your hand is wet? I would destroy every piece of paper I came near as it would get wet and impossible to work/play with. Worse yet (I'm not sure what that class is called in english), but you know the class where you play with glue, feathers and glitter? Yeah.. imagine that.. It was like sticking a hand in a bucket of water then to grab a handful of feathers and then tell a kid to go do something creative with that! It's like a recipe for depression! The struggle was real :S too real
Fast forward to my teen years where boys started making their appearance in my life.. oh boy.. literally.. I didn't wanna touch anyone and that moment where I had to tell them that I'm not being a cold B*&$%, I just kinda have this 'issue' and that's why I'm not all touchy .. Argh.. It was tough. I hated myself and my life for having this 'thing' that I didn't seem to be able to do anything about.. other than embrace it! Which took me about a good slow 26 years.. I'm a fast learner as you can tell..
Torture & Treatments
One MAD evening in my early teen years I tried cutting the palm of my hands with a razor blade. I felt so helpless and frustrated and this was my way of punishing myself. But then, as you can imagine, my hands would start sweating and it was like poring salt in a wound, and the sweat wouldn't stop! So.. yeah.. I guess that kinda paints the picture.. imagine having an open wound and a someone adding just a pinch of salt into your wound every second till your wound would heal! I wish there was someone else to blame but myself.
I tried pretty much every treatment possible to 'fix' this 'problem'.
Except for surgery and pills! That was my limit.
Painful as %$#@!! Improved abut 50% & didn't last more than a couple of months..(it was supposed to last 6-8 months). It was pretty obvious that I wouldn't do that again. Not just bc I'm full on terrified of needles and they would poke each armpit about 50 times with pure poison, sounds nice right! that was round 1. Round 2 I was full on out from anesthesia as it would hurt too bad in my palms if I was conscious and for some reason they wouldn't do it all at once while I was already knocked out! Typical right.. And in Denmark it's somehow illegal to do it under your feet so I didn't get that done. (Botox is supposed to numb the nerves and so decrease the sweating) overall a waste of time and poison!
SUUUPER time consuming and slightly painful! It's basically a battery attached to two aluminum trays filled with water in which you place one hand in each and basically need someone to turn it on for you as you're NOT supposed to remove your hands/feet when it's on! Electricity then runs through these trays and you feel a slight tingling in your hands/feet that can be somewhat painful. So for me, as I have it on hand's and feet, I would do right hand, right foot and then left hand & left foot together so I could control it myself! This takes about 20-30 min on each side and then I had a special 'aluminum egg' to place under my armpits for another 20-30 min.. So for 1,5 hrs a day I would sit, attached to this device, not being able to do much. I didn't see result's fast enough, especially not considered the time and effort, not to mention discomfort, so I gave up on it.. You're supposed to do this every day till you see results and then you can do it a couple of times a week and eventually maybe only once a week, but that wasn't the case for me. I think I spent about $1000 on this thing and A LOOOT of hrs.
I remember bringing it on a vacation as I was determined that this was it, my solution.. But I remember being so embarrassed and not wanting to tell anyone about it, that I locked myself in the bathroom 30 min at a time and claimed I had stomach issues... To me that was more bearable than telling them what a freak I though i was! That I had to spend 1,5 hrs every day stuck to this device.. that's when I gave up on it.
I don't remember the name of it but I think it was 'perspirex' in Denmark. First of all, you're supposed to apply it at night and when your hands are dry.. WHAT A FREAKIN JOKE!!! They are NOT dry, that's the problem in the first place... I remember thinking whoever came up with this must be an idiot... But so I tried it anyways and boy.. I don't even wanna think about what kinda toxic stuff might have been in that product but basically my hands would dry up in those areas where you bend your fingers. (Not sure how else to explain it) it would get really dry/flaky, almost as my skin was just falling off and not really be dry.. They would get all white-ish and so I could see even more clearly, the patches where the sweat would come out while my skin was also falling off... Man.. what a joke..
I must have spend about $5-7000 on this. And nothing... I mean it must have done something but it definitely didn't make my sweating go away..!! My hands used to swell up a lot when I was younger. So much that it would hurt to bend my finders. The acupuncture did take that away, as it didn't happen again after that.. It happened again for a couple of months about 4 years ago and then it went away again. But other than that.. I'm not sure what that money spend was good for.. Other than the fancy Ferrari he was driving.
As I mentioned, I didn't want to do surgery as I was told there was a 50% risk I would end up with a different 'problem'. Some end up not being able to sweat at all which is really a problem, and others get this 'red flair' kinda symptom where you can get all red on your neck & face and I did NOT wanna end up with that. I'd rather take some sweaty hands and feat and so I did. Some people do have success with surgery and congrats if you're one of them, but I'm not willing to take that risk.
FOOD | DIET | LIFESTYLE
Certain foods/emotions may trigger it & basically, even sitting in a plastic bubble on a carpet, fasting, staring into a blank wall will still trigger it.. So no solution yet.. - Not that I've actually done that, but I think you get the point :D ANYTHING can trigger it but some foods and emotions DO make it worse. All the typical foods such as wheat, gluten, refined sugar, alcohol, etc, all the bad stuff that people already tell you to stay away from! So if you really took this advice and followed your own symptoms, you'd be pretty darn healthy! - maybe even sweat free, who knows. I haven't tried it that extreme yet as I like my chai lattes :)
Stress is bad as well and if you have hyperhidrosis or not, stay away from stress!! Exercise regularly and get your lymphatic system going. Polar plunging also works well- at least for me. I've come to believe that a lot of the sweat might come from inflammation & over heating or maybe a body that's too acidic. So cooling down your body all the way to your organs is a good way to cool yourself down - not too comfortable but compared to some of the other things I've tried, this isn't too bad :)
NEVER GIVE UP
As a conclusion, I learned how to hide it well and work with it.. Don't sleep in satin sheets, don't wear colors too bright and too tight, stay away from t-shirts and open sandals, don't get drunk, buy closed toed shoes at all times and black is your BFF.
I also learned that the solution is never to 'FIX' anything, but more to learn how to be ok with it. Once you start to embrace the things you are not happy about, either you simply just don't care anymore or things actually change. What you resist persist and this is no different. Find out what emotion is triggered for you when it happens. Is it a feeling of, being different? Not fitting in? Feeling unwanted? Hopelessness? What is that feeling?
Once you find out, run towards that feeling instead of away from it. See what happens.
I haven't given up on actually trying to find a 'cure' and I'll let you know once I find it, but till then... I'm ok with it. As with anything else in life, your success is based on wether you're running towards something because you wan't something better for yourself or you're running away from something you don't want. I'll tell you a secret... The last one won't get you that far ;)
After all this.. I really hope that this blog inspires you to find a way to embrace your own perfect imperfection and embrace it as a part of YOU.
With Love ❤ , Diana