A reader– and blogger in his own right– was kind enough to send this great hyperhidrosis fact sheet to me so that I could in turn share it with you. Thanks, Wolf!
Plantar Hyperhidrosis Fact Sheet
Plantar Hyperhidrosis is the condition characterized by abnormally increased perspiration of the
feet, in excess of that required for regulation of body temperature.
The cause of primary hyperhidrosis is unknown, although some doctors claim that it is caused by
sympathetic overactivity. Nervousness or excitement can exacerbate the situation for many
sufferers. Other factors can play a role; certain foods and drinks, nicotine, caffeine, and smells can
trigger a response.
Plantar Hyperhidrosis is characterized by excessive sweating of the feet. When enclosed in socks,
boots, or shoes generally four phases are encountered: sweating, swelling, peeling and blistering.
Each phase becomes progressively uncomfortable. If ignored suffers succumb to severe blisters as a
result of the feet softening and peeling. May suffers report symptoms even when wearing flip-flops
There are several treatment options available for plantar hyperhidrosis sufferers. These include
topical solutions such as aluminium chloride, injections of botulinum toxin type A, Iontophoresis,
and endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy surgery. Each of these treatments has varying results and
all have severe potentially life-threatening side effects.
The safest, and easiest treatment for all sufferers is to go without shoes or socks as much as
possible. Although this may not seem practical in all situations, plantar hyperhidrosis sufferers are
encouraged to go barefoot as a safe, non-medical alternative treatment. Most employers of nonindustrial
businesses are willing to accommodate the condition. Accommodations often include
signing personal injury waivers to protect employers from the perceived risks of going without
All plantar hyperhidrosis suffers report relief when not wearing shoes of any kind. This allows for
feet to breathe, and ambient air to remove excess moisture generated by the condition.
Steve Bloor, DPodM, SRCh, HPC, a podiatrist in the United Kingdom has conducted research
which states that there is little to no risk for sufferers going barefoot. Bloors research has shown that
feet quickly toughen and become resistant to injury. Many hyperhidrosis sufferers show significant
improvement to overall health from not wearing shoes.
The Gale Encyclopedia Of Medicine (3rd ed.) states hyperhidrosis is not associated with increased
mortality. It primarily affects the patient’s quality of life rather than longevity. The condition cannot
be cured without significant personal risk. Research has shown it can be controlled effectively by
This document is published by the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology ©2009 – All Rights Reserved
The International Hyperhidrosis Society has announced in their newsletter, called Sweat Solutions, that a new FDA approved product has been developed to treat axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the underarms). For the millions of folks who suffer from this, this news is HUGE! This treatment does not involve surgical procedures, oral medication, or multiple injections. Permanent– yes, allegedly permanent– relief is seen after two doctor visits. Really– this is the claim. (!!!)
The new treatment involves the delivery of electromagnetic energy to the underarm area. This electromagnetic energy results in the destruction of the sweat glands. You can read more about this treatment at IHHS’s SweatHelp.org. Developed by Miramar Labs, the name of the treatment is miraDry, which also has its own website.
If results are what they are claiming, and there are no serious side effects, this could be a game-changer. I don’t know about you, but MY first thought was, “Would it work on hands?” Or for that matter, other troublesome parts of the body? I could not find that question either asked or answered anywhere, but time will surely tell.
I know the axillary area is unique in that the sweat glands there are highly clustered and accessible, but it seems to me that if the sweat glands are being destroyed by electromagnetically generated heat, why SHOULDN’T it work on the hands? With the SDLA (sub-dermal laser ablation) procedure, the sweat glands are basically sucked out, which obviously would not be possible in the hands or feet. But this? I don’t know, maybe… I sure can hope, right?
I will post any updates on the exciting development. If anyone reading this either experiences this treatment or hears about its usage on other body areas, please contact me by either posting a comment here or using the Contact page. Thanks!
Hello, my HH friends… It has been quite awhile since I wrote a post, something I was not expecting. Back in November, my husband and I started seriously considering buying a business. Since that time, we went from thinking about it, to working with a franchise broker (who is FANTASTIC!), to looking at our options, to ultimately, Business Ownership!
I am very excited to tell you that we are in the process of opening the newest branch of Always Best Care Senior Services right here in our community, Chicago’s North Shore! Always Best Care screens and hires caregivers to help take care of the in-home care needs of those who need help with activities of daily living, such as dressing, meal preparation, and general non-medical assistance. We also can help families choose an Assisted Living Community when staying at home is no longer practical.
I have long felt drawn to helping people, whether it is reaching out to those like me with hyperhidrosis, or now, people who need help navigating through the aging process. We feel blessed to have this new opportunity.
The down side to this is that I cannot keep up with this site very easily. I used to spend up to 7 hours a day writing articles on various blogging networks to promote this site, keeping up with HH&Me’s Twitter and Facebook pages, and maintaining this site in general. While it was emotionally enriching to do all of that, I was not contributing much financially to our family. Hence, the need for a Major Change.
So bear with me while I figure this out; I will do my best to write posts, especially when I find a great product or hear of a new treatment. Starting a new business while raising 5 kids leaves little room for much else, but this site is important to me, as I have grown immeasurably from at long last being honest about my condition. I hope some of you have benefited in some way from my efforts.
There are some wonderful HH developments to share, so on to the next post, before my writing window closes!
I was puttering around in my kitchen over Christmas break while my two girls were watching Disney Channel’s newest show, “Shake It Up”. Contrived, badly acted (sorry), predictable, with only about 5 episodes in constant rotation, this latest offering from Disney Channel seems to be reinforcing my opinion that the execs at that network seem to think kids are stupid. If you have school-aged children, surely you know what I mean (Suite Life On Deck submarine episode hello!).
The episode below snagged my attention, however, when I heard this dialogue exchange: “I didn’t want anyone to know… Because people can be mean. Especially when they find out you have some weird disorder.” They were talking about dyslexia, actually, but so many of the feelings echo what most of us feel about having hyperhidrosis… and how hard it is to get those close to us to understand how difficult it is to be “different”.
I recommend you fast forward to the scene where the girls are sitting on the front stoop:
Everyone has something. If you have hyperhidrosis, you have nothing to be ashamed of. You did not choose this, you can control it to some degree, and most importantly, you are not alone. Life is short and don’t let a disorder control your happiness!
Well, it is official now that Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the newer kid on the block Cyber Monday have all passed… Holiday Season 2010 is Here. Yay.
Bring on the Holiday parties, frenetic shopping, office parties (I hear they are making quite the Comeback this year). Not to be a Scrooge, but for many of us with hyperhidrosis, ‘Tis the Season to dread.
Parties, for other people, are opportunities for fun and something to be anticipated. Parties for us are something we pretend to get excited about. We fake a smile with our arms glued to our sides. Cold drink complete with sweating ice cubes clutched in right hand, thankyouverymuch. Cursing inwardly the stupid STUPID decision to wear red satin…
OK, well if you’re a guy, I do hope the red satin part is not a memory for you… not that there’s anything wrong with that (Jerry Seinfeld reference )… My point, and I do have one– wait, do I? Oh yes, the point is… I get it. Have lived it, too many times to want to count. And I would like to give you a little pep talk and a couple of pointers.
Please don’t feel like a freak standing there feeling all awkward at a holiday party. Put the stupid-ass sweating in its stupid-ass place and have fun anyways. Don’t give hyperhidrosis the power to ruin your evening.
Look around the room and if misery loves company, consider that statistically, you are probably not the only person present with hyperhidrosis. Three people in a hundred– and that number is conservative (IMO). You could even play a little game with yourself. Such as, Guess the Sweater (and I don’t mean knitwear).
Dress appropriately– wear the appropriate foundation wear. Guys, undershirts are made that will conceal the sweat and keep you comfortable! Check out my article on Men’s Undershirts. Ladies, there are dozens of options for you. So many, in fact, that my article on Women’s Undergarments is too long for my liking– but I wanted to show you just how many options you have. You can really wear any neckline, sleeve, or color. The feeling of confidence just knowing you are wearing something that will manage the sweat will actually make you sweat LESS. Unless it’s like 95 degrees in the room or something. In which case everyone else will be sweating, so who cares? See? Misery does love company.
If you find yourself sweating, say so. Yes, that’s right. Say. So. Casually. It totally takes the edge off and you get a little sympathy, to boot. I swear. The key is to be really casual about it. When you put it out there, you feel better, and often it will make the sweat production slow down.
So have fun, kiss someone under a bunch of dead leaves, clutch your sweating drink in your sweating hand, and thumb your nose at hyperhidrosis.
It has been just over a year since I started putting together this website. As most big projects do, this site has evolved over time. My main goal for this site has remained unchanged: to offer a safe place to come and empathize with others’ hyperhidrosis stories, and to provide a place where one can find advice as well as product and treatment recommendations.
I quickly learned a few things: First, there is a lot of information regarding hyperhidrosis available, and quite a few treatments and products that need to be explained and reviewed. I did my best to research every real treatment option and provide you readers with accurate information. I also found that there are many products on the market that can help you manage and conceal the sweating. Organizing all this information has been a challenge! At times I worry that navigating this site is not as easy as I would like it to be.
Blog posts are organized by categories, which you can find below the title of the site. Pages describing treatments, strategies, and various products can be found above the title of the site. If you want to know about a particular treatment, Botox for example, click on Treatment Options, and you will see a menu drop down where “Botox” can be found. You can also click on “Botox” on a category tab (below the title of the site) and you will be taken to blog posts where I discuss Botox. When I discuss Botox in a post, I also usually provide a link to my PAGE for Botox too. Confusing? I hope not!
If you would like to know more about ETS (Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy), please don’t hesitate to download the report I offer for free here. I will not give anyone your email address or require you hand over your Firstborn (thanks, I have enough kids). You will simply be added to my list of folks who get an email once a week containing my latest blog posts… and you can opt out of that if you want to.
Something you will NEVER find here is a recommendation or Heaven forbid, a link to any scammy sure-fire “cures” for hyperhidrosis. That was the biggest surprise for me when I embarked on this journey. The ratio of fake cures to real cures for hyperhidrosis is depressingly huge. This is something I talk about a lot here, because it does two things: it rips people off, and it also makes it very difficult for people like me, who offer only genuine and honest help, to be found. There are several honest sites for hyperhidrosis– maybe a dozen?– and hundreds of scams. Hundreds. You have probably found many of them before you found me, yes?
I hope this little navigation tutorial can help you find your way around this site!
You may be aware that hyperhidrosis is hereditary. Or you may be like I was and be blissfully ignorant of this sobering fact. By the time I learned of the possibility that my children could inherit my hyperhidrosis, my family was complete. Believe me, more than complete– we have five kids!
I have received messages from a number of people (mostly women) who are really struggling with their fear of passing hyperhidrosis on to their children– existing, future, and in utero. A few people questioned whether they should have kids at all because they would not want their kids to suffer as they did. One expectant mother told me she lay sleepless in bed many nights after learning her child was a girl and being convinced that a girl would have a harder time living with hyperhidrosis, should she be afflicted with it.
What could I say to these worried parents and would-be parents?
I felt for them, of course I did. Strangely, I did not share their fears. My oldest children clearly did not have it; two of them are teens and still showing no signs of HH. I did not give it much thought; perhaps this is because no one else in my family had it when I was growing up and suffering in isolation and shame. It isn’t as if hyperhidrosis runs rampant in my family.
So, my response to these anxious folks was sincere and sympathetic, running along the lines of… “Your child, if she has hyperhidrosis, will have something going for her that you did not have: a mother who understands and will advocate for her…” and “…Educate yourself on every possible treatment and find a good doctor who understands how to treat hyperhidrosis…” You know, the best advice I could think to give. From my ivory tower.
Until Movie Night.
Cuddled on the couch, watching Alice In Wonderland with my girls… My husband was away with our three sons. I don’t know about your sweat patterns, but to me, a hallmark of hyperhidrosis is sweating during an exciting movie. It must be the whole adrenaline, fight-or-flight response mechanism. I touched a bare foot during a chase scene. It was slick. Checked hands: wet. Hyperhidrosis.
Suddenly, all my well-meaning advice-from-on-high meant nothing. I cried my eyes out and felt like a hypocrite. The irrational and overwhelming guilt made the tears fall faster. She will have to live with this because of ME. I GAVE THIS TO HER. The fact that it was simply genetics and thus out of my control and not actually my fault meant absolutely nothing to me.
After awhile, I began to think back on all the little signs I had willfully ignored: the clammy hands a few random times, the moist socks… I had told myself, “Kids tend to be sweaty…” And this is true. I do think sweaty hands and feet in young children can be normal and not a sure sign of hyperhidrosis. I may well be mistaken about my daughter. I would love to be wrong, of course.
Since that night a few months have passed and I have watched for more episodes. There have been a few. Happily, a few times I expected to feel sweat, there was none. I even have admitted to myself that another one of my children can have clammy hands once in awhile, and I am trying to accept the possibility that he may have it too.
Since the initial shock, I have gained a sense of perspective. I have reminded myself of the advice I offered to others, and have tried to be OK with it. I have attempted to quiet the guilt. My head knows it is not my fault. My heart wants to blame someone, and it may as well be me.
Someday, if my children are diagnosed with hyperhidrosis, they may be angry with being dealt a sweaty hand. They may want to blame someone: me. I must anticipate this and understand. Before I find myself in this position, I must forgive myself, accept it, and get ready to be their best weapon.
I have just finished viewing one of the best segments on hyperhidrosis that I have ever seen. The International Hyperhidrosis Society (www.SweatHelp.org) posted on their Facebook page a link to their website, where they had posted the video. Featured in the segment is one of the founders of the International Hyperhidrosis Society, Dr. David Pariser, who has a thriving dermatology practice in Norfolk, Virginia. I went to the CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) website, and they have provided a code enabling placement of the video on outside sites, so… here it is!
The folks featured in this piece deserve our thanks and admiration. Imagine how difficult it must have been to talk about their hyperhidrosis on camera!
It seems from watching this that Botox really is becoming the “treatment of choice” for both axillary and palmar hyperhidrosis. This is the second video I have seen recently showing Botox injections in the hands (see other video here), and one of my Facebook friends, Amanda, has recently had this done with good results. For more information on Botox for excessive sweating, please see my page under Treatment Options called Botox .
The word is getting out! Not only that, but there are treatments out there that work. You have options as well as acceptance!
Thank you to the International Hyperhidrosis Society for showing the video!
Here is another memory from one of my loyal readers and cyber-pal, Melissa. I wanted to laugh, cry, and cringe in sympathy when I first read this:
“Birks”, by Melissa
Determined to study out-of-state, I didn’t really know anyone my first semester at college.
We were all required to enroll in a freshman seminar course that consisted of community service projects and specific curriculum for overall thematic enrichment. It was a great way to interact with fellow new students and pretty much be thrown together and see where it took us!
What I was thinking when I slipped on BIRKENSTOCK® sandals the morning of our first outreach event is beyond me!?
Just moments after sweeping an abandoned loft, the indentations on the sandals crafted and intended for comfort were literally overflowing with sweat puddles.
I kept dashing off to the restroom, only to find very thin toilet paper. I dabbed and dabbed and dabbed.
I remember thinking – had I only worn running shoes – no one would know have to know about this.
Or why couldn’t I just have said, “Hey can I get a ride back to the dorm to change my shoes? My feet keep sweating.”
No big deal, right?
I was too ashamed.
It was humiliating.
What’s ironic is this particular course was based on anthropological studies. Talk about a rite of passage!
Anyone else have a hyperhidrosis memory to share? Just contact me! It can have your first name attached, your full name, a pseudonym, or “anonymous”. Getting memories out of your head feels great, believe me!
I had been meaning to search out the best socks for you for quite a while when Melissa (click on her name if you want to read a memory she shared here) made a reference to her favorite socks while we were chatting by text over the weekend.
I had not really taken the category of socks very seriously, as to me, a sock is a sock. What have I been missing out on?! That’s what I get for being squeamish about feet my whole life (There. Now you know another Secret of mine.). Even the words “sweaty feet” still make me cringe. Must. Get. Used-to-it.
Sweaty feet. Sweaty feet. Sweaty feet. Sweaty feet. Sorry– still curling upper lip… Anyhoo,
Herewith, a list of 4 brands of the Best Socks for Moisture Management I could find on the Big Bad Web:
Thorlos (approx. $12-$16 per pair) This company has a very large selection of socks engineered specifically for just about any activity you can think of. They focus on fit, padding, and moisture management. These socks all have padding and are made with acrylic fibers that wick moisture away from the foot. It is difficult to find a review of any of their products that is negative. The only complaint I have seen is that they are a bit pricey– but as my mother says, “You get what you pay for”. Amazon.com has an entire Thorlos Store.
Balega (approx. $9-$14 per pair) This South African company makes socks primarily geared toward running. These socks feature padding on the footbed as well as a moisture management system called DryNamix that helps to move moisture away from the foot. Because this company focuses primarily on one sport, the selection is good but not as varied as Thoros. Amazon.com has a full selection of Balega Socks.
SmartWool (approx $8-$25 per pair) Made of merino wool, SmartWool reportedly developed a special process to manufacture socks that are extra-absorbent, odor-resistant (both natural properties of wool), soft, and not itchy (un-itchy? itch-free? non-itchy?). Special care should be taken in washing and drying these socks, cuz, they’re, like, wool. I have seen many positive reviews of these socks being warm yet not stifling as well as very absorbent and quick-drying, yet I remain unconvinced they can really absorb enough sweat for US. A big positive? They come in an amazing array of styles and fun colors and patterns. Again, Amazon.com has a huge selection of SmartWool socks.
DryMax (most styles under $10 per pair) This is the company that seems to take moisture management most seriously, even declaring on their website in all caps, “MOISTURE IS THE ENEMY” (hey, I like these folks!). They have what they call a Moisture Removal System in which they use two different fibers to knit the sock, then use what they call a Dual Layer Sweat Removal System in the design to ensure moisture stays away from your skin. These socks are Melissa’s Sock of Choice. They are available in mainly white and black (with a smattering of other colors) in a variety of styles. This brand was even mentioned in “Dermatology Times” (2007) as a recommended product for managing hyperhidrosis. So there ya go. Once again, our pals at Amazon.com have the best selection of DryMax Socks.
HONORABLE MENTION: While we are on the subject of umm… sweaty feet…. Read up on Summer Soles absorbent inserts on my page for Footwear.
Did I mention? All of the socks listed come in Men’s, and Women’s styles, and also Kids in some cases.
Ugh. Could use a pair of DryMax right now after writing about this subject all afternoon… Sweaty feet…Sweaty feet… Sweaty feet… Nope. Still not helping.