Saturday, July 28, 2018

Hyperhidrosis: Follow up post on antihydral

When I began this blog in 2005, I mostly wrote random posts about my life and the art I was making. Now, that I'm an art teacher, the majority of my posts are focused on that, but I still receive emails with questions about a post I wrote back in 2007, so I thought I would write a follow-up.

For those of you that don't know me well, you may not know that I have hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is, basically, excessive sweating. Most of the time, it is located to specific regions of the body. I have palmar (hands), plantar (feet), and truncal. I used to have axillary (armpits), but after using Certain Dri for a year, it's gone. My sweating is generally stimulated by heat (like most people) but mostly by anxiety. Only people with hyperhidrosis have any idea how much that can affect a person's quality of life.

When it comes to my hands, I make small daily decisions as well as major life decisions based on my hyperhidrosis. Whenever I write or draw, I have a folded piece of paper under my hand so I don't get my paper soggy. When I wear material that isn't sweat absorbant, I carry a wash cloth around in my purse in case I have to shake someone's hand. As an art teacher, I carry around my own pencil when I'm giving mini demonstrations so I don't have to borrow a student's pencil and hand it back to them "wet." It is hard for me to bond with pets because as soon as I begin to pet them, my hands start sweating simply because I don't want them too- it's all a mind game.

I've made huge modifications to my life regarding my feet- I never go without socks or something on my feet. I never wear sandals. I never wear flip flops. I sleep in my socks. If I try to wear cute sandals without socks, my feet immediately start sweating because I don't want them to. Then, my hands and everything else start sweating and it lasts all day. So it's just easier to wear socks. I also wear socks and gloves when I do yoga.

I wear biker shorts or spanx underneath all my clothes. Not to suck in tummy fat... to hide sweat stains in case I get overly anxious. I don't normally need them, but wearing them takes the anxiety of worrying about it away, which is probably why I don't need them.

As far as treatments go, I have tried drysol and iontophoresis- no success with either. I have considered surgery, but am nervous about it. I have also thought about botox injections, and that still seems like a good option, especially if it can be covered by insurance.

But the most effective thing I have found is still antihydral. I can't even remember how I originally came across it, but I've been using it for 11 years, now. I still experience the sweating, and I still wear socks all of the time. But it has minimized it- enough for it to be worth using for 11 years.

When I first got it, I had to use it every night for a few weeks to notice a difference. I put it on at night and use a blow dryer to get it to dry. Then, I try to follow asleep before my hands and feet sweat too much of it off. Now, I use it about twice a week to maintain everything. There are a couple of side effects, but they are worth it to me. If my hands and feet get wet for a little while, they get SUPER wrinkly. But they go back to normal pretty quick. Also, I carry lotion around in my purse because they look dry and scaly after I wash my hands, but the lotion pretty much takes care of that.

So there's my follow-up on antihydral. If I ever find anything that works completely, I'll write another follow-up. Until then, feel free to email me or comment with questions or suggestions of your own!

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