My Secret Isn’t So Secret Anymore

For Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month this year, I had the amazing opportunity to share my story of living with Hh on a larger scale. The International Hyperhidrosis Society approached me earlier this year to ask if I would consider being a part of their Awareness Month campaign and tell my #HhStory. Although I am usually pretty secret about my condition, I decided to take the leap and trust that a video like this could help others living with Hh and spread awareness and understanding. It’s always important to me to portray Hh as NOT just a little sweat. The video really captures the struggles I’ve faced and the obstacles I’ve had to overcome to get through each and every day. My story is just one of many from millions of other Hh sufferers all over the world. You are not alone. We are in this together.

So, without further ado, here’s my story.

So, I guess my secret isn’t so secret anymore…and that’s okay.

Thank you to the International Hyperhidrosis Society for this opportunity and to my husband and mom who joined me to share their experiences of having someone with Hh in their lives.

To all my family and friends – thank you for your never-ending love and support ❤

Caryn

New Product Review: Carpe Antiperspirant Hand Lotion

Hi all,

I was recently introduced to a brand new product called Carpe. It is an antiperspirant hand lotion for sweaty hands! I received a sample of this product in the mail a few weeks ago and immediately felt results. I was recommending this product the day I tried it and I am happy to write a review for my blog!

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What’s great about this product is that it is a non-invasive solution for sweaty hands. It’s something you can take on the go and use as you need it. It can be used daily and will keep your hands sweat-free for hours (4+).

Carpe is an opaque white lotion with a pleasant scent. It smells like eucalyptus and mint. One of my first observations when opening the lotion was that it had a mild scent and didn’t smell like medicine. I feel like a lot of similar lotions don’t have as nice of smell.

Carpe should be applied to clean and dry hands.  You apply a pea-sized amount to your palms and rub together for 15 seconds. The lotion is pretty tacky when going on, but it disappears within the 15 seconds and leaves no residue. I was able to resume typing on my computer keyboard after the 15 seconds and did not need to rinse my hands. The lotion sunk in for a while and my hands were dry.

I find this product especially good for people with HH who have not yet explored other treatment options, children with HH, and people who have occasionally sweaty hands.  For people who  haven’t explored any other treatment options, a lotion is the perfect way to start. Carpe is sold over the counter and is very affordable. One tube costs $14.95 and will last for 1.5 months. For children with HH, I think a lotion is absolutely the way to go. Since HH is hereditary, I’ve given a lot of thought to how I will approach HH with my future children if they get my HH gene. I would not want to put them through Iontophoresis or give them Robinol until much later. Since the lotion is topical and can be reapplied throughout the day, it’s a great tool for kids at school and during after-school activities. Same goes for people who do not have HH, but have occasionally sweaty hands. The lotion is great for them because they won’t need the more intense treatments like Ionotphoresis or Robinol.

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with the co-creater of Carpe, David Spratte. He started working on this product when he was a senior in high school because of his frustration with sweaty hands. Now, a junior at the University of North Carolina, his product is on sale and ready to help the HH community and more! I was quite impressed to learn how much David had accomplished at such a young age and I was inspired by his story. I love that this product was created by someone who was struggling with sweaty hands himself.  He took his experiences and knowledge of sweaty hands to create a product he knew would work. David uses Carpe every day.

Something unique and special about Carpe is that long-term sweat reduction is possible if it is used regularly. David says that based on efficacy studies, 60% sweat reduction is achieved long-term if used once a day. Carpe is FDA-certified and non-irritating, so it is safe to use daily. Additionally, I was very happy to learn from David that Carpe also works on sweaty feet and foreheads. If you use the product on your feet, wait 10-15 minutes before putting on a shoe or sock to ensure the lotion sinks in.

Last, I would like to mention how much I love the name of this product. Carpe is short for Carpe Diem – Sieze the Day. David uses ‘Sieze the Moment’ on his packaging. Having this association with the lotion completely correlates to what I mention in my blog: Don’t let HH limit you and what you want to do in life. This lotion can provide  much needed relief as you face challenging and potentially embarrassing daily situations. Whether it be a handshake or highfive, playing sports or musical instruments, or simply taking a test with paper and pencil, Carpe can be a solution for you.

Please let me know if you have any questions about Carpe and please check out their website!

Thanks for reading,

Caryn

 

Will my kids have HH?

I’m often asked if I’m worried about passing Hyperhidrosis on to my kids. HH runs in my family, so I know that there is a pretty good chance of passing it on.

I’ve given this a lot of thought for many years. In the past, I was concerned about passing it on because I know the difficulties of HH first hand and I don’t want my children to suffer through it. Children especially have trouble with HH in school and social activities. Years ago, a part of me thought my future children would be angry with me for passing it on.

However, after more thought and discussion with family members, I can say that although there is a high chance of passing HH on to my kids, it doesn’t deter me from wanting to have my own children. I have always wanted to be a mom.

In fact, if my children are born with HH, I will be incredibly well-equipped and be their biggest support. I will be able to share coping techniques and be knowledgeable about treatments. I will be a huge resource and am confident I will be able to help them.

 

Dry Grip No Sweat Lotion Interview

A couple of months ago, I suggested some over the counter treatment options for my younger cousin who also has HH. He is in middle school now and has had HH for his whole life. Out of the options I suggested, he chose to start with a lotion called Dry Grip No Sweat.

He is having great success with the product so I thought it would be a fun idea to interview him about it and his experiences with HH. A big thank you goes out to him for helping me with this post!

Here’s what he had to say:

Caryn: What do you think the hardest part of having HH is?
Cousin:
I think the hardest part of HH is having to deal with it all the time. I mean, unless it was the winter, usually my hands were sweaty. I personally had a really tough time getting used to it, and even now. I just want it to be done with.

Caryn: What difficulties do/did you find in school with HH?
Cousin: It is quite hard to cope with it at school, like when you accidentally touch someone, or when you have to pass something around and you get it really sweaty, or trying to hold a pencil but your hand keeps slipping off, it becomes annoying, and sometimes embarrassing.

Caryn: Do/did you have any difficulties with HH outside of school?
Cousin: I absolutely had troubles with it outside of school. Trying to do sporting activities was a bust, I couldn’t really touch anyone, and eventually I started to get stressed. Stressed that it wouldn’t go a way, no matter what I tried to do about it.

Caryn: How often do you apply the lotion and how does it make your hands feel?
Cousin: I apply the lotion every morning on weekdays, and at first it feels like glue because it’s sticky, but that only last for about 5 seconds. Other than that, I don’t feel it whatsoever, and often forget I put it on that morning.

Caryn: How successful do you think it has been?
Cousin: I believe it has worked quite well, but I like to think of it as brushing your teeth. It’ll only work if you consistently do it, as for most things. Now even though I’m not applying it on weekends, I just do that so my hands don’t get used to it, so I can use the same lotion for longer.

Caryn: How has your day to day life changed since using the lotion?
Cousin: My day to day life has changed for the better, no doubt about it. I hardly notice my hands sweating, and usually that’s after gym in school. I no longer have the problems I used to have in school, and I much enjoy it. It really stinks to have HH, but if you don’t do anything about it, it won’t go away.

Thanks for reading,

Caryn

 

 

HH and Heredity

Hi all,

I always knew that Hyperhidrosis ran in my mom’s side of the family. Her sister (my aunt) was born with it and so were her two boys (my cousins). I was surprised to hear earlier this year that a cousin on my dad’s side of the family was recently diagnosed with the condition.

My dad told me about my cousin’s diagnosis and I reached out to her. She told me she went to a doctor and was prescribed a product called Hypercare. I had never heard of this treatment before but looked it up to find that its active ingredient is Aluminum Chloride. She is having success with this product!

I am thankful that I can talk to my family members about Hyperhidrosis openly and recently helped out my younger cousin on my mom’s side who hadn’t tried any previous treatments. After sending him and his mom a compiled list of some mild treatment options, he decided to go with an over the counter hand lotion. He is having a lot of success with this product so far! It’s called Dry Grip and can be found on Amazon.

HH runs in my family, but so does support. We are all very willing to listen and talk about HH and help each other out.

Best of luck,

Caryn

Luann Comic- Hyperhidrosis

Hi All,

This weekend, the popular Luann comic strip mentioned Hyperhidrosis! Thank you to my Aunt (who also has HH) for bringing this comic strip to my attention!

I am so happy and surprised that HH is mentioned, and by name too! I feel like this comic strip just made HH history. So many people read the Luann comic. It was my favorite comic strip growing up!

Greg Evans (Luann creator) was just able to reach thousands about HH. I am so curious what the response is! Thank you!

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All best,

Caryn

Hyperhidrosis Genetics Study

This past year, I participated in a study conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine on the genetics of Hyperhidrosis.

In today’s e-newsletter from the International Hyperhidrosis Society, I learned of some findings from the study. You can read the article HERE.

If you are living with HH, I encourage you to contact the College of Medicine and participate.

My experience with them was very positive. I was mailed a free kit that included a HH questionnaire and supplies for DNA samples (mouthwash samples).

After the questionnaire was complete and mouthwash samples were collected, I mailed the kit back to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, free of charge.

It is important for your family members to also participate in the study whether they have HH or not because genetics and heredity are being tested.

Thanks for reading,

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

Blushing and Blotching

I am having a problem with the overactive blushing symptom of HH recently. I’ve been given a lot more responsibility at work, and maybe I’ve just been more nervous and anxious than usual, but my neck and chest are blotching up like crazy!

It’s so frustrating and embarrassing. I see coworkers looking at it, and one has even made a comment. I try to explain that it’s part of my condition, but I don’t go much into detail.

All I can do is be strong, and look them in the eye. I try to ignore it. This takes a lot of will power, as you know.

When people with HH blotch up, we can feel it. At least with me, there is heat on the skin of my chest and I know immediately that I am having a blushing problem.

I want to tell everyone that I can’t help it and that I’m sensitive about it.

Other ways you can  cope with overacting blushing are:

1. wear scarves
2. wear large necklaces to cover it up
3. keep your chin down so the neck isn’t fully exposed
4. in a meeting, hold your notepad in front of your chest
5. or- let your blotching continue to the point where your entire chest and neck area are all the same color red. I almost prefer this to the inconsistent blotching. I think it is less noticeable.

These tips may sound silly and probably aren’t fully effective. But, these are my personal coping mechanisms that make me feel a little better about it.

At any rate, remember to breathe and drink water.

I had a meeting today where blotching and blushing was a real problem. I ended up with a terrible headache from the anxiety I put myself through. Yet, no one said a thing.

All my best to you out there…welcoming the cooler weather!

Caryn

 

(I know it) Like the back of my hand

I use the back of my hands a lot. You might find this strange or confusing, but it’s another coping mechanism.

The back of my hands sweat less. The tops of my fingers will sweat occasionally when my HH is very strong and opposite the palm area (above the wrist and below the knuckles), there is no sweat.

For my job, I have to hang a lot of posters to advertise concerts. I always smooth them down with the backs of my hands. I can’t do it with the front of my sweaty hands or the ink will run!

On the subway, I will sometimes balance myself by pressing the back of my hand to the rail. This works for the most part. I’m really good at balancing.

Side note- I truly think I have better balance from having HH on my feet. Walking with sweaty feet in sandals requires a lot of balance!

If I ever really need to be in close proximity to people where my hands may brush them, I make sure it’s with the back of my hands.  Fist bump instead of hand shake?

I tend to keep my palms down, so people are only seeing the back (tops) of my hands. Less glistening in the light!

At a bar, I will hold onto my drink most of the night so only the back of my hands are showing. Also, if you need to shake someone’s hand unexpectedly, you can claim that the sweat is the condensation from your glass. I do this a lot, actually. More lying- I guess this should have been in my “lying” post.

Does anyone else with HH use the back of their hands?

Caryn