Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterized by excessive sweating anywhere in the body, but often occurring in the hands and feet. Although not fatal or life-threatening in any way, having suffered this condition in my hands and feet since birth, I know from personal experience that it is an extremely unpleasant condition to live with. In this article I will provide a basic overview of this condition and, drawing from my own experience, explain some of the hardships typically experienced by the sufferer and the means available today to address this condition.
Those who suffer hyperhidrosis of the hands tend to experience sweatiness to the point that perspiration will literally drip off their hands. The condition is typically exacerbated by heat and nervousness, although these circumstances are by no means prerequisites for the excessive sweating to occur. On occasion my hands and feet will sweat excessively, despite cool weather conditions and my relaxed mental and physical state. On a side note, if you experience excessive sweating in similar circumstances you would be well advised to visit your doctor for a potential diagnosis of the condition.
The Life Of A Hyperhidrosis Sufferer
Despite hyperhidrosis being relatively harmless to the sufferer, there are myriad reasons why one would want to seek ways of addressing the condition, in the hopes of at the very least mitigating its excessiveness. Aside from the obvious social awkwardness which arises from the condition (shaking peoples’ hands, holding hands with one’s partner), there are numerous practical inconveniences to deal with as well. As anyone who suffers from hyperhidrosis of the hands will know, handling documents can be an absolute nightmare and if precautions aren’t taken, documents actually tend to get wet and torn to the point of being completely ruined!
Having suffered all my life from hyperhidrosis, I naturally accumulated various methods here and there to either reduce my sweat levels or to protect whatever it was I was handling from literally being destroyed by sweat. My earliest memories of devising techniques for sweat damage prevention date all the way back to the 90′s, when as a kid playing video games with my friends I would have to wear socks over my hands to prevent damage to the controllers (true story). Eventually I got a little more savvy and upgraded to surgical gloves, which I was able to purchase at my local pharmacy for almost nothing.
As time drew on and adolescence lingered, I naturally became more concerned about my condition because now there was more at stake than destroying a video game controller. Having girls feel awkward about holding my hand was far more undesirable! Fortunately (and strangely) enough though, my girlfriends never seemed to mind about my sweaty hands, and to all those fellow sufferers out there who have concerns about how their date will react to their sweaty hands I would like to say the following: if it is a huge issue for her, she’s not the right girl for you
There are several ways in which one can seek treatment for hyperhidrosis, some of which allow the suffer to manage the condition by causing a abatement or reduction of sweat levels and there is one particular treatment that I know, more accurately described as a surgical procedure, which potentially results in absolute removal of the condition, although in some people the surgery results in curing the excessive sweat in the problem area but with a side effect of compensatory sweating in another area. For example, according to one South Africa’s top thoracic surgeons, it is quite common for people who undergo the surgical procedure to correct sweating in the hands, to experience compensatory sweating in their back (a price many sufferers are prepared to pay to correct sweating in the hands).
The surgery is quite invasive and involves cutting into the chest in order to pinch certain nerves on either side of the chest. So if you are considering the surgery, make sure you do a proper background check on the surgeon – he or she should preferably have done the procedure at least 40 times before, with say a 70-80% success rate. Anything lower than that and I would not even consider the surgery.
Another option for treating hyperhidrosis, which I often hear of people having success with (albeit, temporary success) is homeopathy. In fact I tried a fellow hyperhidrosis sufferer’s homeopathic medication the other day and I take my hat off to it because it certainly gave me some temporary relief from my sweating. While I doubt that homeopathy can cure hyperhidrosis, it does have the advantage of being completely safe. The downside is that any relief gained by the medication is temporary and so the medication has to be taken on an ongoing basis.