• My Hyperhidrosis Started in 4th Grade.
    My Hyperhidrosis Started in 4th Grade.

    "I remember having to fold paper to place under my palms so when I wrote I didn't sweat onto the paper. I never wanted to raise my hand for fear someone would see rings of sweat under my arms. I thought I was a freak because none of my other friends had palms that dripped. At 31 I spoke to my doctor about it. He said, “oh you have hyperhidrosis” Wow there is a name for this? It is a medical condition? Life began for me at that moment." Sophia is now an invaluable volunteer for the IHHS and contributes actively on our Facebook page. Read More

  • Scar Pits.
    Scar Pits.

    "I could really use some help. I have sensitive skin, and Drysol is absolutely killing me. I quit using it for a year after I developed a horrible rash on my underarms which led to scarring, but I started using it again because it has been the only thing that keeps me dry. The same irritation and rashes are occurring again. They are quite painful, and I'm very close to just throwing the Drysol away. What are my options? At this point I'd try anything."Read More

  • Stupid Sweaty Hands Ruined My Cell Phone!!! :(
    Stupid Sweaty Hands Ruined My Cell Phone!!! :(

    "Today i went to the doctor and he told the best and only way to treat sweaty palms was the surgery. He said that botox hurts A LOT and iontophoresis was a waste of money...Now i am really in doubt, I've looked for another 3 doctors already and only 1 of them told me not to do the surgery. i really wanna do it, but im afraid of regreting it later. What should I do?"Read More

  • More Than Anything in the World.
    More Than Anything in the World.

    "My entire life I have been carrying around a towel to dry my wet sweaty hands. I see couples who hold hands on the street and have a family. For as long as I can remember I've been praying this to be possible for me. I wish this more than winning the lottery. This would be a dream come true. Can you help?"Read More

  • Dripping Sweat.
    Dripping Sweat.

    "Since I was 10 I sweat in my palms and pits. I had sweat marks all the way to my waist! At 14 I got ETS surgery. It stopped the sweating in my palms, but a year later the underarm sweating returned, and I started to suffer from severe compensatory sweating all over--abdomen, back, chest, butt, thighs, and feet. It completely ruined my life. I totally regret the surgery and wish I had never done it. Botox and iotophoresis help, but just on certain areas. The thing is, it doesn't stop the problem--the rest of my body stays the same: Dripping sweat. Now what?" Read More

  • Sweat Runs Down My Back Like a Highway.
    Sweat Runs Down My Back Like a Highway.

    "I've know for awhile I have hyperhidrosis but it wasn't until 2010 my Dr. actually diagnosed it. He did nothing about it or said nothing about it -- except "some people just sweat alot." Not like this they F don't I said. I was so angry about his offhand casual comment, as if to say yeah so what! It runs down my back like a highway, right down my tail, soaks my clothes, down my legs into my socks. This IS a disease. It affects me EVERY day."Read More

  • There Are Heroes Here.
    There Are Heroes Here.

    "Treating hyperhidrosis leads to a greater improvement of a patient's quality of life than treatment of any other dermatologic condition." David Pariser, MD International Hyperhidrosis Society Co-founder, Board Member and Secretary, American Academy of Dermatology President 2009.Read More

  • High Fives Bring Me Down.
    High Fives Bring Me Down.

    "I've had hyperhidrosis since the seventh grade and I'm a junior now. It gets really hard for me in social settings. I love to dance salsa, and that involves hand to hand contact and my hands sweat sooo much. Also my feet--I can hardly wear heels because my feet slip and slide so much. My self esteem is slowly reaching the pits. Going out with friends involves pre-meditation, and an action plan if I start having a sweating episode. I feel so incompetent. Little things like when people say "High five!" bring me down cause I am so embarrassed. This is destroying me."Read More

  • Bye-Bye Bright Colors.
    Bye-Bye Bright Colors.

    "I think I might have hyperhidrosis, but I'm not sure. I sweat a ton under my arms at school, and any other time I'm out in public. I could be outside in a blizzard in a T-shirt and shorts but still be sweating majorly from my armpits. I could be with Lauren (she's been my best friend for seven years, and I'm totally comfortable with her) and still sweat. I hide behind baggy hoodies, black tops, and never raise my hand in class in fear someone might see my secret. Should I talk to my mom about it? Should I go to a doctor?"Read More

  • Slip, Sliding Away.
    Slip, Sliding Away.

    "I sweat a lot on my face. My doctor said he can't do anything more as i have tried all the relavent medications. He's given up. This is depressing me as i feel i can not proceed higher in my work due to sweating. This is so embarassing! Please can you advise me what to do please."Read More

  • Look Mom! Dry Hands!
    "Look Mom! Dry Hands!"

    "For the first time, my son has dry hands. It's been weeks since my son had his hands treated and he still comes to me daily and says, "Feel! They're dry!" It's made such a positive impact. Thank you IHHS! We found help and hope at last." Read More

  • Excessive Sweating Ruins More Than Just Clothing.
    Excessive Sweating Ruins More Than Just Clothing.

    "I was basically walked out the door today due to hyperhidrosis. I was in disbelief because of my 4 years of service to an institution putting in one of the most complex computer systems ever designed. Now what?"Read More

  • I Can't Just Live with It
    I Can't "Just Live with It"

    "I have sweat running off of my scalp and down my face then dripping on the floor even if I just put laundry in the washer. It doesn't take much for me to sweat profusely and it doesn't stop until I sit in front of a fan with a towel. This is not something new for me, I have had this problem for at least 45 years. I have gone to a Neurolgist, a G.P., Gynecologist, Dermatologist, Endocrinologist and I just keep getting passed off to different doctors. Are there any doctors that can help me instead of telling me that I'm a woman and will just have to live with it?"Read More

Stress Sweat Stinks!

 

This morning, I just barely got my daughter to school on time. As I chivvied her to eat her breakfast, brush her teeth, and get dressed, I kept thinking about the letter I’d received from the principal regarding our repeated tardiness. Pretty soon, despite the chill in the spring morning air, I was sweating. When I finally arrived at my own school, where I am a nursing student, I walked into lab to perform an intricate procedure on a mannequin in front of my instructor and classmates and, you guessed it, I was sweating again. Concerned that my classmates would see or worse – smell – my sweat, I got increasingly worked up and sweated some more. Up and down throughout the day the vicious cycle continued. As if life weren’t nerve-wracking enough, my stress-sweat and stress-odor was making me more stressed!

There are different types of sweat and sweat glands. The eccrine glands produce the watery sweat we need to keep cool in hot weather and during exercise. This type of sweat begins after a slight warm-up period and tends to be odorless because it is composed mostly of water. Eccrine sweat glands are located all over your body.

Apocrine sweat glands are found mostly in your underarm area, genital area, and on your feet. These glands respond immediately to stress or to an “event” – no warm-up period required – and produce sweat that is full of proteins and lipids. Bacteria love to feed and grow where there are proteins and lipids, and where there is bacterial growth, there’s odor. Stressful event, stress sweat, stress stink, more stress, more sweat, more odor and on and on…

Interestingly, says Dr. David Pariser, founding member of the International Hyperhidrosis Society, former president of the American Academy of Dermatology, and professor of dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, "Hyperhidrosis primarily affects the eccrine sweat glands rather than the apocrine, which is why body odor is less of an issue for hyperhidrosis sufferers than you might expect. While people with hyperhidrosis experience exponentially increased levels of wetness, odor is similar to that seen among non-hyperhidrosis sufferers (assuming similar levels of hygiene, clothing changes, etc.) What works on odor for the typical person, should therefore work on odor in a hyperhidrosis situation, as well." 

Which gets us to new research: recently, the scientists with Proctor & Gamble (the makers of Secret Clinical Strength antiperspirant) conducted a study to see whether their product could fight not only wetness but also odor – in particular the stress odor that so many of us (whether we have hyperhidrosis or not) contend with every day. Women aged 18 – 30 participated in the study. First, they went 14 days without using antiperspirant in order to “wash out” past antiperspirants’ effects for a “clean” study. Next, they received four days of “treatment” with Secret Clinical Strength (unscented) under one arm. The other sweaty underarm remained untreated with zero antiperspirant used. On the fourth day, the participants underwent an accepted stress test (the Trier Social Stress Test or TSST).  The TSST involved each participant giving a speech and doing mental math four hours after having last applied Secret Clinical Strength. Wetness and odor evaluations were collected from pads placed in the underarms. Wetness was measured and odor was “graded” by odor experts. Results showed that wetness was reduced 85% and odor was reduced 50% in the Secret Clinical Strength-treated underarms as compared to the untreated underarms. This data was presented in early March at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting and has been published in a supplement to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (page AB63) and of course we have it in our ever-popular hyperhidrosis Published Scientific Research section too.

Whether you are running late for an important meeting, giving a presentation at school or work, trying to make a good impression on a first date, or doing a complicated procedure on your first real-live patient in the hospital (no more mannequins!), the above-mentioned study shows there is something you can do about stress wetness and odor.

To make the most out of your regimen, it’s recommended that you apply antiperspirants like Secret Clinical Strength at least once per day, preferably at night before you go to bed. Make sure your underarms are dry first (this keeps irritation at bay). And, according to Dr. Susan Biehle-Hulette lead scientist on the Proctor & Gamble stress sweat study, it’s a good idea to shave your underarm hair, too, not for cosmetic reasons, but because it helps reduce bacteria growth on the hair shaft and therefore helps to also reduce odor.

If you fall in love with the results of Secret Clinical Strength, use Secret’s Loyalty Reward Program to save money. Here’s how it works:

1)    Buy four (4) Secret Clinical Strength Deodorants/Antiperspirants (0.5 oz. trial-size excluded)

2)    Send the receipt(s) or UPCs (from the bottom of the box) with a completed registration form (click here for the form) to:

Secret Clinical Strength Loyalty Reward
PO Box 900059
EI Paso, TX 88590-0059

3)    The makers of Secret will send you a coupon for one (1) FREE Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant/Antiperspirant (1.6 oz).

On this first day of spring 2013, don’t let stress sweat and odor get you down (flowery spring dresses and pastel button-down shirts anyone?)  Try clinical strength over-the-counter antiperspirants and spring into action.

By Angela Ballard

Writer, Editor, Student RN and regular contributor to International Hyperhidrosis Society publications

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