It’s not all blue skies

Hi All,

I sincerely apologize for not posting for over 2 months. Life quickly got very hectic as the semester started- both in work and in my personal life.

If I didn’t have time to post, you can only imagine the trouble I had finding time to keep up with Iontophoresis. I missed way more treatments than I am happy to admit, and so of course, my sweating has returned.

The sweating is not as bad as what it was before Iontophoresis, but it is still present. No matter what, HH is in my genes. It’s in my DNA. Without treatment, I will always sweat.

I feel so angry with myself. I finally found a tool that helps my HH, and I am not taking advantage of it. Yes, I’ve been really busy, but I know I could have found more time than I felt I had.  I’m blaming only myself.

When I think about my situation, my mood starts spiraling downwards. Mostly I am just angry with myself.

Holidays are coming up, and I will be able to take more time off from work. I’m definitely bringing the Iontophoresis device home and will be using it every other day. I’m going to start the initial treatments again.

Hope all is well with you and Happy Holidays!

Caryn

Life with Semi-Dry Hands

Hi All,

So the knitting project went pretty well. I wasn’t able to actually successfully knit, but the string didn’t come apart and get tangled like it normally would have if my hands were sweaty. My mom is visiting me next weekend and will hopefully help with the knitting part, but overall, I have to say that it was a success for me! I am also interested in learning how to crochet. Back in college, my best friend tried to teach me, but it was so difficult for me to hold the string in my hands. I know that my hands today will be much better for these types of hobbies.

The Iontophoresis is still holding up pretty well. Like I’ve said, the tops and sides of my hands and feet still sweat. I was doing yoga and stretching last weekend with my boyfriend in preparation for a Labor Day Half Marathon, and my boyfriend was really surprised to see the top of my feet glistening with sweat. He was concerned the Iontophoresis wasn’t working, but I told him I’ve been noticing sweating in this area. At least, it’s almost completely dry on my soles and palms. I have to say that in extreme cases of heat and stress, my palms and soles will get clammy. I noticed this while running the half marathon. It’s definitely not as bad as it was before, but it’s there.

Other successes this week: writing out a ton of envelopes- BY HAND! When’s the last time I’ve been able to do that without a towel or other piece of paper gliding under my hand as a smear guard? Also, I’ve been shaking a lot more hands lately- and I appreciate every one 🙂

Keep trying the different solutions out there- I hear that Iontophoresis may not have the same results for everyone. Good luck to everyone, and please stay positive.

All best,

Caryn

More Irish Dancing!

Hi All,

I’ve been taking Irish step dance classes every week now since February and I continue to love it more and more. I even added on a hard shoe class, so now I’m taking 2 hours of Irish step a week!

Recently, my teacher invited me to a free introductory class for team Irish Dancing called Ceili. This looks really fun, but it features hand-holding with your team while you dance.

Tomorrow is the class and what a great time it is to test out my “new hands”!

I never would have considered this type of dancing if my hands were still sweating profusely- although I have to say I’m still pretty nervous! I just hope my sometimes clammy fingers don’t get in the way!

I have finished the initial treatments with the Iontophoresis device, but Bill Schuler from the R.A. Fischer company suggests I still treat my hands and feet once a week. After a while, I can gradually increase the time between treatments. So, maybe I will do a treatment tonight if I have time, just to be safe for tomorrow!

Check out the type of dance I’m going to be doing! Looks fun, right? Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading,
Caryn

Further Experiences with Iontophoresis- Success!

Since my first treatment with the R.A. Fischer Iontophoresis device, I have been able to work the device myself without help. If you work the machine yourself, it will take 40 minutes, even if you are just treating your hands.

While by myself, I use one tray for my left foot and one tray for my left hand. I am then able to work the machine with my free right hand. After 20 minutes, I repeat with the right hand, using my left hand to work the machine.

Generally, I will only feel a little discomfort when using the device with the vibration sensation. However, I have felt pain during a few treatments. Sometimes my hands or feet will feel like they are burning. When this happens, I immediately decrease the milliamperes until I feel comfortable again.

The pain may be caused from excess tap water in the tray. The extra water by my wrists causes some pain and I noticed after the treatment that my skin near my wrist turned red and it was also itchy. After the first treatment, I even noticed a little swelling. The swelling went down within a few hours. I have also experienced a red line along the entire side of my hand, from where the water level rested. You can see this in the picture below. Don’t worry- the red irritation goes away. My hands were fine by the next morning.

R.A. Fischer president, Bill Schuler, suggests if switching charge midway through the treatment causes discomfort, I can switch every other treatment instead. So far, I haven’t had a problem switching mid-way through.

Bill also suggests that you use the machine every other day for the best results and that results are most commonly seen after 6-10 treatments. After that, I read that you may use the machine as needed, usually once every 2-4 weeks.

Although the NYC heat is doing its best to work against me, I am seeing results with the device. I have even tried to will myself to sweat and am unsuccessful. Is this too good to be true?

I still feel the same sensation as when my hands and feet did sweat.  My hands and feet get very hot and tingly, but my palms and soles of my feet are dry. The sides of my fingers and feet will get clammy but I think that is because the water in the trays does not reach that area. This doesn’t really bother me. Also, I am happy to report that I have experienced no compensatory sweating from Iontophoresis!

I have finished initial treatments but I am going to keep an eye on my progress and will continue to devote my time to the machine when needed. I will keep you posted, but so far, I recommend this machine to people with HH!

All best,

Caryn

redline

Irritation from the Iontophoresis device. This goes away fairly soon.

My First Experience with the Iontophoresis Device

A couple of months ago I was offered an opportunity to try an Iontophoresis machine for my Hyperhidrosis. The makers of the R.A. Iontophoresis device loaned me a prescription machine- the MD-1a Galvanic Unit! I have been working with Bill Schuler, R.A. Fischer president and long-time supporter of the International Hyperhidrosis Society, over the phone and via email for tips and coaching and updating him of my progress.

What is Iontophoresis, you ask?

Defined from the R.A. Iontophoresis website: “In cases where antiperspirants are not effective, a physician may recommend “Tap Water Iontophoresis” for treatment of palmar or plantar hyperhidrosis. In medical terms, iontophoresis is defined as the topical introduction of ionized drugs into the skin using direct current (DC).”

My first experience with this machine caused a lot of anxiety. I opened the case and saw a lot of wires and many booklets and sheets of paper with instructions.

Francis and I read through all the directions, we set up the machine and prepared the trays with tap water. This being the first time, it took us about an hour before we actually turned the machine on. I’m glad we went through everything thoroughly because I felt that the machine could be dangerous to me if something was set up incorrectly. Francis used to work for the American Red Cross and I was happy that his medical instincts took over as he carefully made sure everything was hooked up properly. He let me focus on calming my nerves. I already knew the general idea of the device as I had tried Iontophoresis about 10 years ago with no success, but this machine looked a lot more intense.

I opened the case to find that it conveniently slides apart to become two tap water trays. One metal plate rests in each tray and a cloth goes on top of the plates to avoid any direct contact with the skin. Each plate is connected by a wire to the main device where you change the level of milliamperes. The instruction booklet said that you should aim for setting the device to 12-18 milliamperes.

Finally, after making sure everything was hooked up correctly, I was ready for my first test with the device. Each of my hands rested in a tray on top of the cloth covering the metal plates. We were ready to turn the machine on.

Although I knew the machine was safe, I couldn’t help fearing that I would somehow be electrocuted and pass out once the power button was switched on. I could feel knots in my stomach and my breathing was fast. I was really nervous.

During the first treatment, Francis was responsible for working the device and changing the level of milliamperes. He counted to three and he turned the machine on.

Phew- I was okay!

Francis gradually increased the milliaperes to 12- we didn’t go any further than that on this first try.

What I noticed most was vibration. The vibration was pretty severe during my first try- vibrating my fingers, palms, wrist, and half-way up my forearm. If the sensation was getting to be too much, I asked Francis to lower the milliamperes slightly.

The vibration sensation was not painful, just a little uncomfortable.

After ten minutes, it is instructed to gradually decrease the milliamperes to 0, reverse the charge, then gradually increase again between 12-18. This lasted for another 10 minutes, and then my treatment was done for the day!

I was happy to find that the treatment wasn’t painful and that I felt safe. The treatment takes a lot of time, but I was able to watch TV during it. Watching TV also helped keep my mind off of any discomfort I felt with the vibration sensation.

I was also relieved that Francis was with me for my first treatment. He was very supportive and protective of me and made sure I was feeling okay.

After the first treatment was over, he wanted to try the machine to see what I was feeling! I let him try it very briefly, and we only went up to about 6-7 milliamperes. He could feel the vibrations from the plates.

This really showed me how much he supports me and that he was willing to step into my shoes, so to speak. His actions spoke largely about his character.

Stay tuned for another entry about my other treatments with the Iontophoresis device!

Best,

Caryn

Carrying case for the R.A. Fischer Iontophoresis device. The case comes apart to become two tap water trays for the treatments.

Carrying case for the R.A. Fischer Iontophoresis device. The case comes apart to become two tap water trays for the treatments.

The milliamperes are adjusted on this device during treatments.

The milliamperes are adjusted on this device during treatments.

During my first treatment, I treated both of my hands at the same time because Francis was adjusting the milliamperes on the device.

During my first treatment, I treated both of my hands at the same time because Francis was adjusting the milliamperes on the device.

 

I was featured by the International Hyperhidrosis Society!

I wanted to share some exciting news!

Today I was featured in an article in the International Hyperhidrosis Society eNewsletter! Sharing my HH story with others has been a really rewarding experience and I thank the International Hyperhidrosis Society for giving me the opportunity to share with so many of you!

Please click HERE to read the article.

The International Hyperhidrosis Society is a fantastic support site for people with Hyperhidrosis. They share a wealth of information including HH education, tips for coping, stories from others with HH, deals and discounts on sweat-helping products, research studies, treatment information, a comprehensive search for doctors, ways to get involved and more! I have had a really positive experience communicating with them in preparation for this article and always find their website helpful. Please check it out!

All best, and stay tuned for an entry about the Iontophoresis machine that was just donated to me from R.A. Fischer iontophoresis devices !

Caryn