Sweat on Command

Earlier this week, my boyfriend Francis was visiting me at my apartment.
We were in one of our silly moods and when we both noticed that my hands were dry, he challenged me to make them sweat.

I went silent.

Francis said, “You know- you should practice your super power.”

“Shhh- I’m concentrating.”

Within 10 short seconds, my hands were glistening with sweat.
“Here, feel” I said, as I put my hand on his arm.

Francis was pretty impressed. I was too.

I knew I could probably sweat on command, but I had never really tried it.

All I have to do is think about my hands getting warm and they start tingling.

I like how Francis called it my “super power.” I hope one day I can use my power for good.

If only I could control the sweat and make them dry on command.

Oh well- maybe with practice I can! 🙂

Happy Reading,

Caryn

 

 

Smelly

Hi All,

It’s time to get a little real here.
I know that sweat itself doesn’t smell.
If this is news to you, it’s true.

Sweat doesn’t smell, but the bacteria on your body will break the proteins of sweat and cause a smell.

A few days ago, I was in a meeting and I was sweating a little more than usual.
I had another appointment soon after the meeting and was worried I wouldn’t make it out of the meeting on time.
When I was excused from the meeting early, I didn’t want to get up before everyone else because I had a feeling I was going to trail a bad scent.

So I stayed put until everyone left.
This experience just brings up something else that I and people with HH have to deal with.

I’m paranoid and self-conscious.
I don’t know if I really did smell, but my mind was telling me that I did.
HH really effects your mental state of being.

To try and help the smell, wear more absorbent fabrics. Cotton always works will for me.
It is also very important for people with HH to shower often (once a day is fine) and maintain good hygiene.
When I was younger, I would buy scented hair products and body sprays to mask the smells of my HH. I’m sure I put too much on all the time!
Now, I buy scent-free laundry detergent because I think the smell of HH mixed with scented detergent is worse!

If anyone has any other suggestions, please feel free to leave them!

Best,
Caryn

 

Computer Keyboard with a Built in Fan?

I was very frustrated at work today. I’m not sure if it’s hotter in my office or if I’m just stressed, but my hands have been constantly sweating. The sweating was really irritating me as I typed on my computer keyboard.

I decided to do a Google search to try to find a computer keyboard with a fan positioned at the hands. I have a fan on my desk now, but it doesn’t help much because the airflow is not able to reach my hands.

What I found was a gamer keyboard. What an ingenious invention!

Gamers’ hands get sweaty, and they may not even have HH. The fan is built-in to the upper left hand side of the keyboard and keeps your hands cool as  you type.

I’m not a gamer, but I still want this keyboard! I wish that general keyboards would start offering this fan option. I don’t need all the other fancy “gamer” features.

Check the keyboard out HERE.

                                             

New Coping Tip

Hi All,

You all have heard how nervous I get about shaking people’s hands because of my HH. Going to an interview is especially nerve-wracking. You don’t want to give a bad first impression, and you hope your interviewer looks past your sweaty hands. Unfortunately, sweaty hands can give the impression that you are more nervous than you really are. I wish it weren’t true, but a sweaty handshake could be what is standing between you and that job.

Recently, I have been on the other side of the coin. I have been interviewing 3 or 4 people each week for the past two weeks for an open position in my office.  It’s been a really interesting experience so far. I have never been an interviewer before. I have learned what it really takes for a resume to stand out, and the reality of the interview and application process.

I’m happy to have this responsibility, and I am up for the challenge…

but think of all the hands I’m shaking!

I shouldn’t be the nervous one, yet shaking hands makes me nervous no matter what.

If my hands aren’t wet, they are freezing cold.

I really didn’t want my handshake to leave a bad first impression with the interviewees, so I tried something new:

I washed my hands right before I was about to meet them.

By washing my hands, my hand temperature was regulated and the sweating wasn’t as bad after wiping my hands dry.

I recommend trying this out, and let me know what your results are! This is a great new coping tip for me, and I hope it helps you too!

Best,

Caryn

New Quality of Life Survey

If you have Hyperhidrosis, check out this new Quality of Life survey: http://www.hidroqol.org/

It’s different from the previous survey because it focuses on our experience with the condition over a longer period of time (21 days).

The survey doesn’t take very long, and there will be only 3 surveys in total. After completing the initial survey, you will receive a survey after 8 days and then again after 21 days.

Please take this survey if you suffer from HH! Results from this study will help improve the diagnosis of HH and ultimately contribute to improving our quality of life.

Best,

Caryn

 

 

Sweat and Chicken Wings

Hi All,

I recently received a question from a reader about how HH impacts my dating life.

Well, from my previous entries, you all know I’ve been in a long term relationship for a while.

My boyfriend’s name is Francis and we have been together for 4 years. We were long distance for a while, but now we are happily in the same city- New York City!

Although my boyfriend and I are now very comfortable with each other, my HH still plays a big part in our relationship. Just the other night, I asked him again (for the umpteenth time): “Are you sure my hands don’t bother you?  “It’s not gross when I touch you?”

Thankfully, Francis has always been fine with my HH. I am lucky to have found him!

Other than the physical aspect of HH, he understands when I get very frustrated and emotional due to HH limitations. I try to be calm, but sometimes I can’t help it. He talks me through it or gives me a hug.

Francis is also very supportive about my goal to help others like me with HH. He encourages me to blog and to talk to people. It feels really good to trust that Francis isn’t grossed out by my HH and he is someone I confide in all the time.

We don’t let HH limit our relationship. We go out, stay in, watch movies, go to dinner…we are a pretty normal couple. If we’re talking about HH, it’s usually about ideas for my blog or ideas for future non-profit organizations for people with HH. We don’t like to let HH bring us down, although it’s okay to feel sad sometimes.

My advice to you is: Don’t settle. There is a guy or girl out there who will be accepting of your HH and you deserve to have that person.

And you never know- that person may just have HH themselves. Or a version of it.

I will go out on a limb and say that Francis has secondary HH. Secondary Hyperhidrosis is different from mine (primary) because it is caused by something. For example: taking certain medications, being overweight and/or having other medical conditions can cause overactive sweating. Francis’ cause happens to be spicy food.

The first time I noticed the sweating was when we ate chicken wings together at a dining hall on our college campus. His forehead had broken out in a sweat and had started dripping. The back of his shirt was starting to get wet.

I felt more comfortable mentioning the sweating because of my own condition, and Francis told me that it always happened to him when he ate spicy food.

Since then, this has been a normal and frequent occurrence. We both really like Thai food, and sometimes it can get spicy. He will sweat right there in the restaurant, and sweat way more than me! His forehead will sometimes get really sweaty and he has to go through a bunch of napkins to mop it up.

I have never had a problem with spicy foods and sweating, so I don’t really understand that aspect of overactive sweating. However, I know that Francis has a much better idea of my HH through these experiences.

I recently asked him if he made social decisions based on his spicy food sweating episodes. He said that he probably wouldn’t eat anything really spicy out in public, but it doesn’t bother him too much if he sweats just a little bit since he really likes spicy food.This is similar to people who suffer from primary HH because we make social decisions based on our HH all the time.

Francis did not know what HH was before he met me. I didn’t know he had sweating tendencies when eating spicy food. Since we started dating, I have slowly taught him what it means to live with HH. I know he still learns new ways I am limited by the condition, but he has a much better sense of what my life has been like.

If it’s any reassurance for the future, I notice that my sweating has decreased when around Francis because I am now more comfortable and relaxed around him. Dating always made me nervous, and nerves will create more sweat.

Don’t hide your HH. If it comes up, talk about it. HH is a big part of your life and a big part of who you are, whether you like it or not. The right person for you is going to love you for everything you are.

All my best,

Caryn