As the summer on melts into the first days of the new school year, kids across the country begin the oh-so-painful adjustment from carefree to classroom. But for thousands of Virginia school division students, the school nurse will be ready to help them adjust to a more socially difficult situation - excessive sweating.
Sadly, most children who experience excessive sweating symptoms (or hyperhidrosis) aren't aware they have a treatable condition or are too afraid to talk to anyone -- even parents -- about the problem. The Know Sweat in School campaign was created specifically to tackle this issue. Thanks to a grant from Secret Clinical Strength(R) and Gillette Clinical Strength(R) antiperspirants, the International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHHS) has just developed a kit to bring essential education and support to school children through the familiar face of the school nurse.
During the month of September, a sampling of registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) throughout Virginia's 132 school divisions will be sent a Know Sweat in School kit to increase their awareness of hyperhidrosis. The eventual goal is to provide kits to all 1,200 school nurses throughout the state.
"The nurse's office is a safe haven for most school kids," said Tia Campbell, school health specialist in the Virginia Department of Education's Office of Special Education & Student Services. "For many children, the school nurse is the only healthcare professional they have, so it's a good place to begin for a child with questions. While we don't diagnose, we can refer a child with any concerns to the appropriate physician."
Elements of the Know Sweat in School kit include:
Nurse Information Sheet (describing hyperhidrosis in medical terms)
Several teen-oriented posters for display
Handouts for students with excessive sweating concerns
Teen Sweat booklets (in easy-to-understand language)
Samples of clinical strength antiperspirants with directions on proper usage
Children with additional questions can access specific information and a list of local doctors trained in hyperhidrosis diagnosis and treatment at www.SweatHelp.org
Excessive sweating is a dermatological condition affecting at nearly 5% percent of the world population. The disorder can cause an otherwise healthy person to produce up to five times more sweat than is normal or necessary. Symptoms usually start in the early- to mid-teen years. Already an awkward time of growth and development for most children, the added pressure of dealing with a 'sweating problem' around peer groups in a classroom setting can be devastating to both self-esteem and grades. Children can end up scared to raise their hands in class for fear of embarrassment from sweat stains; often sitting in the back row under a dark 'Hoodie' to keep their condition hidden.
"Hyperhidrosis is the number one dermatological disease in terms of negatively affecting a person's quality of life, yet is also number one in having the most dramatically positive impact on people's live when treated. We help to educate medical professionals so they can diagnose symptoms earlier. Caught early, this can literally change the life of a young person with the condition," said Dr. David Pariser, founding IHHS board member and former president of the American Academy of Dermatology.
The Know Sweat in School program was made possible with the support of Secret Clinical Strength(R) and Gillette Clinical Strength(R) antiperspirants.
About the International Hyperhidrosis Society
The International Hyperhidrosis Society is an independent non-profit organization committed to reducing the symptoms, anxiety and social stigma associated with excessive sweating of an estimated 367 million affected children, teens and adults worldwide. The IHHS supports hyperhidrosis research, educates healthcare professionals in optimal diagnosis and care, raises awareness about the condition's emotional and economic impacts, and advocates for patient access to effective treatments while increasing public understanding of this debilitating medical condition.
The International Hyperhidrosis Society's Web site, www.SweatHelp.org, includes a Physician Finder to help anyone with excessive sweating to find medical help, information on additional treatment options, and a comprehensive collection of insurance and reimbursement tools, including downloadable forms, which can help sufferers work with their physicians and health insurance plans to get the correct coverage for necessary treatments. There are practical tips to make the most out of appointments with physicians and information on clinical trials and a blog helps keep everyone current on hyperhidrosis news and medical breakthroughs.
International Hyperhidrosis Society(R) is a registered trademark of the International Hyperhidrosis Society.
Secret Clinical Strength(R) and Gillette Clinical Strength(R) are registered trademarks of Procter and Gamble.
Dr. Pariser is available for interviews.
Lisa J. Pieretti LJP@SweatHelp.org