I am a winter person. No, I don’t prefer the cold, I don’t love the rain, I don’t hate the sun. I just don’t like to sweat in summer.
Some of you, mostly my family, knows that I have suffered with Hyperhydrosis since I can remember.
For those of you who might not know what this is, it’s a condition where a person has a problem with excess sweating.
It affects 3% of the worlds population.
For people who have to deal with it, it can be detrimental to one’s self esteem; something that I have definitely had to try to overcome but never successfully.
My body decides to sweat constantly under my arms, and unfortunately over the last two or three years, my face.
Going through middle school and high school at a private school with compulsory uniforms, I used to get so self conscious I would get anxious about wearing the summer dress; a baby blue coloured dress that would show any wetness or dampness.
The other half of the year we would wear our winter uniform; a white blouse with a pleated skirt. All my white blouses, however, had yellow armpit stains from years of sweating constantly.
In PE class I would get so embarrassed playing sports and being the only person out of the girls AND boys who had sweat patches under their arms. And it felt worse playing sports like volleyball or basketball where my arms would be up in the air catching or throwing.
Heck, I don’t even want to go to a gym nowadays because I’ll do the bare minimum and be sweating like I’ve just run a marathon.
Sometimes I can’t hide it and living in Australia means we get hot summers, which means my sweating is worse.
I used to google “how to stop excess sweating” every night.
I started off simple when my mum told me to stick panty liners on the underarm section of my dresses. It would eventually fall off during the day because my sweat would make the panty liner wet and it would make the sticky part come off. So I then started pinning the panty liners to my dress but soon realised you could see the pins on the outside.
That’s when I started to take it more seriously.
I ordered all sorts of chemical filled deodorants and antiperspirants, wipes, and natural antiperspirants.
Looking back, the amount of terrible things I bought just to stop the sweat was absolutely horrendous.
I remember using every product with such high hopes.
I would take a deep breath before trying every product and think to myself “please, please, please be the one”.
…but it never was.
In fact, most of the products I tried would leave me with itching and burning sensations, sleepless nights, and feeling down about it not working for me.
I would get rashes and have to get up in the middle of the night to get a warm cloth to wash the chemicals off my armpits and keep a hot compress on it just to soothe the burning feeling, tears streaming down my face.
Eventually, I decided to give up.
I thought that it’s just something I’d have to deal with for the rest of my life.
Graduation was a joy because it meant I didn’t have to wear the stupid school uniform every single day.
But then I started to work, wearing a stupid shirt every single day.
My work uniform, although not nearly as bad as my school uniform, left me with sweat patches everyday.
This is around the time my face decided to amp up the sweat.
Face sweating is the worst because it’s the part of your body that people see the most.
It could be the middle of winter and I would get a customer asking where something was and I would be so embarrassed because my top lip would have enough sweat to fill a swimming pool and my forehead would be beading with sweat and I couldn’t stop it.
The worst experience to date was my 15 minute oral presentation at University in the middle of summer with no air conditioning and I was the first person to present. You’ll be glad you weren’t there to see the puddle of sweat forming at my feet. What a horrifying experience.
I think I cried for days after that happened.
I realised that I don’t want to have to live my life like this everyday, maybe I don’t have to deal with it everyday like I thought I would.
I had heard about Botox a few times because of the ridiculous amount of research I’d done over the years, but it never seemed like an option for me.
First of all, it’s bloody expensive, it would hurt getting dozens of tiny needles just pricking the skin, it would be a short term solution, 7-12 months, but better than applying a topical chemical every night. Plus I never knew where I could get it done.
The opportunity came for me to give Botox a try.
So I went into my local skincare clinic, Cape Naturalist Skincare Clinic, I had a consultation and decided to go ahead with it.
I was so nervous that, you guessed it, I was sweating.
About 25 pricks in each armpit would do the trick, and although I hadn’t heard of anyone getting it done on their face before, I got it done on my upper lip.
I’m really good with needles so that wasn’t a problem for me.
My problem was that it hurt a hell of a lot more than I thought it would, enough to make me not want to get it done again even though I know it would last me at least 7 months for just 10 minutes of pain.
Kylie Smith, the woman behind the magic is one of Australia’s Botox queens, she is a “well recognised registered senior cosmetic injector within Western Australia with over 15 years of injectable experience.”
I felt safe and trusted her word that’s she’s done so many people that it’s changed their lives.
One thing I hadn’t read about was that Botox for hyperhydrosis, unlike normal Botox injections into muscle, would be injected just under the skins surface, which is the reason it hurt more.
I got this procedure done because I wanted to be confident and sweat free on my adventures abroad.
And that’s just what happened…
…For 4 or 5 weeks.
I was so disappointed when 4 weeks into my travels, I started to sweat in those areas again.
That’s a lot of money that’s gone down the drain.
I have been heartbroken for weeks after learning that the one thing that was almost guaranteed to last a good 7 months at the least, only lasted about 2 months for me.
Although, that’s not saying that someone else will have the same results as I, because it’s been proven to last as long as 12 months.
So now, as I sit here writing with warm, damp-ish armpits in the middle of winter, I’m disappointed to say that my hyperhydrosis has won every battle so far.
Yet, I try to remain optimistic.
There are more options out there in the world, maybe a miracle antiperspirant, maybe surgery (maybe I’m not that desperate, maybe I am). Who knows.
Many people have their mountains, this is mine.
I’d love to hear any stories or opinions on this, or if any of you have advice you’d like to share, I’d love to hear that too!
If you suffer from this terrible condition, know that you’re not alone!
Lots of love,
Image is not mine