I know I’ve been really inactive lately and up until this year I had no actual excuse (I’d just been laying around the house) but lately I’ve been trying to sort my life out because quite frankly, it’s been a hot mess. One thing I’ve finally gotten around to sorting out lately is my sweating – through botox- and I thought I’d dive into the topic a little bit, because I know it’s not something that’s talked about very openly and it could help some people out. Be prepared for a long post…
What is Hyperhydrosis?
So if you haven’t read this post then you might not have any idea what hyperhydrosis actually is – in a nutshell, it’s excessive sweating. You sweat 4/5 times the normal amount and it can affect mainly your armpits, hand or feet, so it’s not too pleasant. Personally, it only has a major affect on my armpits and I’ve had it since I was around 12 years old. Of course at first it was put down to hormones, because yeah you do sweat more when you hit puberty, but this definitely isn’t the same thing. I can wear all the deodorant in the world (I think 13 applications in 1 day is my record) and you can wear as much breathable fabric as you want, but the issue is still there. You don’t have to be warm, working up a sweat or even moving, you just sweat – all the time. A good example of this actually is that when I get out of the shower, before I’ve even left the bathroom (and I don’t hang around in there) I’m sweating – annoying huh?
What can be done?
I didn’t go to the doctor about it until I was 15 and even then they diagnosed me with hyyperhydrosis but didn’t really do much. They prescribed me an itchy, flaky roll-on that contains aluminium so it stinged like hell. You couldn’t apply it to broken skin either so it was a choice between shaving my pits or applying an uncomfortable deodrant (come on). I kind of gave up on the doctors after that because they just didn’t seem to see it as a real issue – one that affects your confidence and day to day life, so I just decided to try every deodorant I could get my hands on and see what worked but a pattern started to develop. Each time I found an effective deodorant I’d be fresh as a daisy for a week or so, then my pituitary glands would give it a big fat nope and I was back to square one. I didn’t go back until October of last year and the doctor that saw me couldn’t have been better. He asked why I was there, saw how long I’d had it (it was on my record from the last time) and referred me to a dermatologist there and then!
What did the dermatologists do?
To be fair, it was a pretty long wait to get into the dermatologist (I didn’t get an appointment until January this year) but it was well worth it. I went for an initial consultation and that was a pretty big waste of time because he didn’t tell me anything, but within 2 weeks I was back at the hospital receiving botox! You have to have a starch test before hand to check that you’re affected enough to have it done (mine showed up instantly and everywhere) and that will help determine how many injections you’ll have too. The botox is paralyses the sweat glands which stops you sweating and yes, it’s completely safe, otherwise they wouldn’t do it!
Altogether I had 30 injections (15 in each armpit – each dot in the photo is where the needle went) and it all took about 20 minutes with the starch test included. Yes, it did hurt, but it’s completely worth it. I’ve been told that sometimes it doesn’t fully work the first time you have it done and I definitely get that, I didn’t go in with high hopes so just a little bit of sweat when I get warm definitely doesn’t bother me. It’s nothing in comparison to how I was and it’s great being able to wear whatever I want now! I’ve got an open appointment now to go back when I feel like it’s back to how it was before (it has to be at least 4 months) and then they’ll do the starch test again and I’ll definitely give it another go! I did go through the NHS personally, but if you’re in a position to pay privately, it’s available in most places and well worth the money.
Lastly, if you suffer with hyperhydrosis, know that there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Everyone sweats, I know it affects your confidence, it did mine, but for the last couple of years I’ve accepted it. It’s part of who I am and even if I want to change it, I’m not going to apologise for it and feel ashamed.