Living with Sweaty Hands and Feet

Living with Sweaty Hands and Feet

Robert, Aged 18, living in Seattle, Washington DC was only 13 when he had to forcibly give up on his favourite drawing because his hands were always clammy and he would always smear the paper. His armpits and feet used to be sweaty, smelly and he was all dripping sweat. At 15, he cried because he could not attend a sleepover party due to the sweaty problem. He did not want his friends to know about it. He stopped hanging around with them. Although, he liked wearing fun colours and cute tank tops, he avoided them and wore only bulky jackets and black clothes to camouflage the sweat. He would go to school, return home, do his homework and hit the bed without interacting with anyone. His mother eventually woke up to his problem and took him to a dermatologist who administered Botox for his underarms and Iontophoresis for his hands and feet. This worked miracles on him. He is a stronger and a much more confident teenager today. He now wants to help and educate other kids about living with sweaty hands and feet.

Robert is not an isolated case. There are many people out there struggling and battling to reconcile with the uncontrollable and excessive sweat. Excessive sweating also known as Hyperhidrosis refers to a medical condition wherein there is abnormal and excessive sweating on the face, armpits, soles of the feet, scalp, palms and/or torso. It generally begins at puberty. According to a medical report, about 7.8 million people in the US are suffering from Hyperhidrosis and 3% of the global population is afflicted by it.

What are Sweaty hands and feet?

Many people experience palmer sweating in their day-to-day lives. This is a normal response by the body to a stressful situation, environment or intense exercise. But some people constantly have moist hands which can be discomforting during touching or while shaking hands. Their feet may be soaked and there is wetness all over the socks and shoes. Sometimes this can also be accompanied by an unpleasant odour which is due to a condition called Bromhidrosis, wherein there is bacterial breakdown of cellular debris and sweat.

Sweating is a common and natural phenomenon that occurs after an exertion or any intense physical activity. It could be brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, basketball, football, rugby or any such activity which burns your calories. Hot environment, hot food or stress can also make you sweat. All this is perfectly natural because sweating is a normal response triggered by the in-built thermostat system in our bodies that has been specially designed to cool itself after any exertion or exposure to hot environment.

However, when sweating becomes excessive and you notice unusual sweaty feats and palms or facial sweating for no apparent reason then it is an abnormality which is most likely Hyperhidrosis.


Social Disconnect:

In a public place especially, any kind of sweating, be it facial sweating, palmer sweating and excessive sweating of any kind can be extremely annoying and irritating. In social situations, children find it hard to reconcile with it in their schools and adolescents consider it as an embarrassment and an impediment in their colleges. The unpredictability of symptoms makes it even more difficult to live with. You can never be sure when the next bout of sweating will start. It can be slow, gradual or sudden. It can be due to certain foods, emotional stress, digestion, elevated room or any change in environmental temperature. It can also occur due to academic or examination anxieties.

Although, the medical condition of Hyperhidrosis is not life-threatening, it can undeniably, cause extreme levels of suffering and difficulties for children and adolescents which can impact their academic, psychological, emotional and professional progress. The quality of life and comfort is severely disturbed in a social environment.

Parental concerns revolve around the social acceptance. They are worried about the lack of self-confidence and the low self-esteem which their children cultivate over a period of time due to their tendency to avoid interacting with people. In cases of Palmar Hyperhidrosis, adolescents may hesitate to shake hands with people because of sweaty palms and children may be bullied by others for unable to hold a pen or pencil. In cases of Axillary Hyperhidrosis, children have great difficulty in managing the sweat stains as well as the excessive body odour.

Hyperhidrosis forces people to change their clothes at frequent intervals and they also have problems with their shoes due to excess of moisture. If they don’t take care, then this can quickly lead to Tinea Pedis (athlete’s foot) and Contact Dermatitis. Excessive and abnormal sweat production can also impact the texture, colour and overall health of the skin which makes it all the more challenging and unbearable in social situations.

One of the primary reasons why Hyperhidrosis significantly interferes and causes extreme embarrassment in daily life is due to the fact that the hands as well as the feet are particularly affected in 60 percent of the cases where as the armpits are affected in about 30-40 percent of Hyperhidrosis cases. Here’s a short of plantar hyperhidrosis patient and how she cured it.


What are the treatments of Hyperhidrosis?

Conventional Treatments:

The doctor may initially prescribe home remedies and over-the-counter antiperspirants. Aluminium Chloride based antiperspirants have proved to be beneficial to many people. You can also try some natural antiperspirants available in the market. If these don’t help you then the doctor may advise you to try Aluminium Chloride Hexahydrate based antiperspirants.

In most of the cases, the doctor will make a physical examination to determine the condition of your health and may advise Iodine Starch Test.

If secondary Hyperhidrosis is suspected, then the doctor will recommend you to perform certain imaging and laboratory tests to ascertain the underlying medical conditions.

The doctor may suggest the application of commonly used topical agents like aluminium chloride solution, glutaraldehyde, anticholinergic drugs, tannic acid solutions and boric acid to the affected area. You may have to orally consume systemic drugs like anticholinergic drugs, tranquilizers or sedatives. In some cases, calcium channel blockers may be recommended. If you have been diagnosed as a Plantar and Palmar Hyperhidrosis patient, then the doctor may treat you, multiple times daily for about 30 minutes with Iontophoresis which refers to the application of electric current across your skin.

Many doctors today are also using Botox by injecting into the affected area to treat Hyperhidrosis when all the other topical applications have failed. Botox injections are durable and generally last for many months.

New technologies like Ultrasound and MiraDry are particularly used to treat your armpits. Liposuction, Laser surgeries and ETS (Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy) are also available.

Alternative treatments:

You can try Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Herbal Remedies and Yoga. These holistic sciences have been curing and healing patients for a long time. Unfortunately, they have been dismissed as quacks or gimmickry or placebo for want of evidence and documentary proof.

Yoga, Meditation and massage therapies can restore your inner balance and equilibrium making you healthy and normal. They can slowly yet steadily relax your mind which will eliminate stress and prevent the sweating bouts.

There are online chat groups and support groups dedicated to Hyperhidrosis. You can participate in them and seek peer support to manage your condition. These forums will also provide you an opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of various Hyperhidrosis treatments on different people.

You can seek early treatment and lead a regular life. You need not compromise on your social, physical and occupational life. Although Hyperhidrosis medical condition is frustrating and life-altering, it certainly is not the end of the world. Managing your daily chores and living with sweaty hands and feet is definitely possible and manageable today.

Check this article for more Hyperhidrosis Natural Treatment.


Living with Sweaty Hands and Feet
Article Name
Living with Sweaty Hands and Feet
Many people experience sweaty hands and feet in their day-to-day lives. But some people constantly have moist hands that is discomforting during touching or while shaking hands.

Live Sweat Free is a blog for people suffering from hyperhydrosis. Through this blog, we talk on understanding hyperhydrosis, controlling excessive sweating and solutions available.

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