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Friday, 7 July 2017

Explaining Hiperhidrosis

When I was in primary school we used to play this game called heads down thumbs up, where everyone would sit at the table with their heads down and their thumbs up and four students would be selected to go around and touch people’s thumbs, and then you had to guess who touched your thumbs. Whenever I was the thumb-toucher people always knew it was me because of my sweaty hands. Also it used to stop me getting picked because no one wants to touch sweaty thumbs. I started brushing people’s thumbs with my knuckles instead to hide the fact that it was me.


Hyperhidrosis is a condition in which a person sweats excessively for no known reason. I’ve always sweat frequently on my hands, feets and armpits. Walking up and down the street to the shop within five minutes can cause me to need to change my top. I have anxiety but the sweating doesn't just occur when I’m nervous, it occurs when I’m playing guitar; drumming, writing at my laptop (like right now), making food, in the toilet – just doing normal daily activities. It can cause problems with opening things like jars or trying to sharpen a pencil; because my hands are so slippery I can’t do basic stuff.

Over the years it’s become just another thing I’ve learned to cope and live with. I always feel self-conscious about shaking people’s hands; I’ve seen people wipe their hands on their trousers afterwards. When I wear sandals in the Summer I feel my feet squelching in dirty sweat. I’ve been taken the piss out of it or made fun of it countless times as a youngling. Whenever I would stay over at my cousin’s house, we would share a bed and she would ask me to rub talc on my feet to dry them out. Eventually I just slept with socks on. If you were to mention that to her now she’d probably find it quite funny.

I get worried when I’m with a boy I’m seeing and holding his hand, but boys never seem to mind. Maybe they’re just happy to be holding a pretty girl’s hand (hehe). My dad has said it could be a circulation problem. I don’t think there is a real reason; it’s just one of those things that you either have or don’t. Because I lose so much water through sweat I get thirsty a lot and consume a lot of water as my mouth gets dry, and then I have to go to the toilet more frequently, and so it goes around in a cycle. Sometimes I wake up in the night or in the morning and my sheets are covered in sweat. I shower twice a day, I use deodorant, I get constantly paranoid that I smell like sweat and change my top twice a day sometimes. I even sweat through my trousers – sometimes if I’ve been sitting down for a long time I stand up and see a sweat patch on the seat and think holy fuck.

It’s really shit, but you get on with it, and according to the NHS website it’s very common. You put up with it, accept it and move on from it. Cest la vie.

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